The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


October 6, 2005

Ginseng growers, diggers say laws are undermining industry

Alvin Reed says if he had to follow current state and federal regulations when harvesting ginseng he would have retired from the job long ago.

“Most either don’t understand the new laws or don’t agree with them,” said Reed, who is now over 70 years old and has stopped climbing the hills and mountains in search of the valuable root. “You would think they would make laws that would help the ginseng industry, not ones that hurt it.”

Officials with the West Virginia Division of Forestry say ginseng harvesters need to be aware of new federal and state laws that took effect Sept. 1.

Ed Murriner, assistant forester for the Division of Forestry, said his office has continued to get calls from people wanting information about the new laws.

Revisions to West Virginia’s ginseng law moved the traditional start date for the ginseng digging to Sept. 1, and running through Nov. 30.

By law, anyone digging ginseng is required to replant the seeds from the parent plant in the spot where it was harvested.

Legally, only ginseng plants that are 5 years old or older may be dug. The age of the plant is determined by the number of prongs.

“Only plants with three or more prongs are considered old enough to harvest,” Murriner added.

Murriner said plants at least 5 years old are capable of producing fertile berries. The berries must be red, an indicator they are mature.

“Younger plants have smaller roots and have little or no financial value,” he said.

Murriner said other calls he has received are complaints about a recent federal determination regarding exportation of ginseng.

“Beginning with the 2005 harvest season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue export permits only for wild ginseng roots that are at least 10 years old,” he explained. “Some harvesters don’t like this.”

Text Only
  • 042014 Money Adam Taylor 2.jpg Simply green

    A new “greener” law office has been planted in downtown Beckley.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 Money Beckley Barber .jpg The Right Cuts

    If you want to experience an old school barber shop with some modern flair, the owner of Beckley Barber Shop says he’ll take care of you.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • lewis shop 1 Custom car care

    Lewis Automotive Group has added exhaust and mufflers to its list of available services.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Class explores ABCs of starting a business

    If you have a dream of owning your own business, an upcoming class sponsored by the Office of Workforce Education at New River Community and Technical College will give you valuable information on how to get started.

    April 13, 2014

  • Rightway Rightway Auto offers dealer-quality service

    Whether you have two cars or 20 trucks to take care of, one local business owner says he wants to bring you dealership-quality service at a backyard price.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • johnson satterfield Johnson, Satterfield named certified Travel Marketing Professionals

    Maura Johnson, chief operating officer, and Becky Satterfield, Membership & group tour director of Visit Southern West Virginia, have earned certification as Travel Marketing Professionals (TMP) after completing a three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Marketing College.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • skyline resort 2 Southern skyline

    Cozy, upscale, but affordable. That’s the game plan for a newly opened resort in southern West Virginia.
    Located in Ghent, just off I-77 on U.S. 19, Skyline Resort recently opened its restaurant, 4 Season, and Rich & Ernie’s Bar.

    March 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • drone Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s ... a drone

    With the launch this month of “Chopper Foxfire,” Foxfire Realty has become one of the first real estate companies in the region to experiment with “drone” technology.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Auto rental expands to Beckley, Daniels

    Andrew Auto Rental has opened locations in both Beckley and Daniels as it expands in southern West Virginia.

    March 30, 2014

  • Summit designer is honored

    Freese and Nichols Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., designer of a series of dams and lakes at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement for the work at the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 48th annual Engineering Excellence Awards.

    March 30, 2014