Wisconsin ginseng probe generates 100-plus citations

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Associated Press | December 16, 2013

MADISON — Ginseng poachers are still going strong in Wisconsin.

A yearlong Department of Natural Resources probe into illegal ginseng harvesting has generated more than 100 citations against nearly 70 people for violations between 2013 and 2007.

"Project Red Berry" found common violations included harvesting the plant without a license, leaving behind the plant's leaves and berries, which make it impossible to tell the plant's age, and trespassing.

The number of citations underscores how diggers continue to flaunt state regulations to get their hands on the valuable plant. DNR officials say diggers can get as much as $800 for a pound of dried ginseng.

DNR Administrative Warden John Welke says the probe also shows the agency has to do a better job informing diggers of state ginseng regulations.

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