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Each district ranger may further limit ginseng harvests to certain areas of the national forest to allow the plants to regenerate, or to protect designated wilderness and other natural areas. Harvest area descriptions and maps will be provided to permit holders.

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In North Carolina, ginseng is more common in the mountains, very infrequent in the Piedmont and very rare in the coastal plain. Harvesting the plant has been a mountain tradition for generations. It was once used as a currency in exchange for goods like coffee and sugar that couldn't be grown locally.

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be added.

or make a broth with bones and add different herbs, like ginseng root, or brew it as a tea. It's used for energy."

"It is very popular. American ginseng is the only big adaptogen we have here in the States," Fryar said, using a term that refers to plants said to fight overall stress and fatigue. Forest Service to ramp up its efforts at ginseng conservation and in nabbing poachers.

But the high price in overseas markets is causing people to poach the plant at unsustainable levels, which includes taking it off private property, taking it from forest land without a permit or outside of the legal harvest season or removing plants too young to be harvested or without replanting the seeds for new growth, Forest Service officials say.

"The objective was to determine if ginseng is continuing to be a species that is maintained its population and is it viable with current harvest rates and number Asics Hanon

Wild ginseng populations have declined so rapidly in the Eastern United States that most national forests have banned ginseng harvests. North Carolina is one of only six states that still allows harvest in its national forests. But for the second year in a row, the federal agency is severely limiting the harvest season and the number of permits available.

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She said the plant is a popular adaptogen, a plant or herb that "helps the body adapt to stress, specifically by feeding the adrenal glands. A lot of people will chew on the root Asics Onitsuka Tiger High Tops

While ginseng harvesting is allowed in season and by permit on national forest land, it is illegal to take any plant on national park lands, such as the Blue Ridge Parkway or Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Even permits do not allow any harvesting on park lands.

The plant's roots are so precious, they are now going for $179.99 a pound at the Food Co op, which is less expensive than recent years, Fryar said.

That means she accepts no ginseng that walks in, freshly dug, from a seller right off the street. And she especially wouldn't buy roots in the spring, the time of year when ginseng needs to remain in the ground to continue ripening.

"At first, the plots were stable, from 2000 03. But we have seen a gradual decline since that time. It's too early to tell if last year's changes have had an effect. We just need to keep monitoring the plots."

Fryar said the French Broad Food Co op will only purchase ginseng root through dealers it can trust to grow and harvest ginseng sustainably, such as Moonbranch Botanicals in Robbinsville.

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Last year, the Forest Service limited the harvesting of wild ginseng in the forests because of concern over decreasing wild ginseng populations. The following changes implemented last year will carry over to this fall's harvest season in Nantahala and Pisgah national forests:

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The permitted harvest season was reduced to two weeks from four weeks. Harvesting will be allowed Sept. 16 30.

Permits are issued through a lottery system (selected randomly) by each district office. People submit their names at more than one district office.

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A permit allows a person to harvest 1 3 wet pounds (at $40 per pound) of wild ginseng in the ranger district where the permit is issued.

Those wishing to harvest wild ginseng from Pisgah or Nantahala national forests must submit their names in a lottery at one of six district ranger offices.(Photo: Special to the Citizen Times)

of permits," Kauffman said.

ASHEVILLE Melissa Fryar is rather particular about the precious ginseng roots she will purchase as the health and beauty care manager at French Broad Food Co op.

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The limited number of permits sold last year reduced the ginseng harvest nearly 35 percent, said Stevin Westcott, Forest Service spokesman. In 2013, the Forest Service sold 408 pounds (136 permits at 3 pounds per permit) in Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. There are now 137 plots scattered across Pisgah and Nantahala national forests.

While Green Asics Running Shoes the number of permits in national forests has been severely cut, and the harvest season cut in half, if plants don't soon recover, further restrictions might Asics Shoes London

The number of permits issued is limited to 136 annual permits, a 75 percent reduction of permits from previous years.

´╗┐Forest Service ginseng permits stay at reduced level

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Ginseng root, native to the Southern Appalachians and prized for centuries for its medicinal properties, has been highly prized in East Asia for more than 200 years, and today can fetch more than $500 per pound in the Asian market.

Between June 15 and July 15, people can submit contact information to a Nantahala or Pisgah National Forest district office to participate in the lottery for receiving a ginseng harvest permit. Visitors must obtain a permit to collect wild ginseng in the two national forests during the designated harvest season.

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