Char Robaidek/Wild Ginseng Program Coordinator – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “The department of natural resources regulates the sale, harvest and shipment of American ginseng, the wild American ginseng, because trade in ginseng can threaten the survival of the plant in the wild.

Char Robaidek/Wild Ginseng Program Coordinator – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “Most of the ginseng in wisconsin, the wild ginseng is found on the southwestern part of the state and around the northern part of the state. A lot of it’s along the Mississippi River. It likes an area that’s under mature hardwoods. It likes rich soil, moist soil, but it doesn’t like it’s feet wet. So, not too wet.”

Char Robaidek/Wild Ginseng Program Coordinator – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “Before you harvest you have to obtain a wild ginseng harvest permit from the department of natural resources. And there is an open harvest season. And that begins September 1 and it goes through November 1.  Basically, the thing for all diggers to keep in mind, is you need permission, before you harvest, wherever you’re going to harvest.”

Randy Dunkel/Conservation Warden - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “So what we look for is the weight that is coming in on purchase receipts, that they purchase from customers. We certify that that’s the same weight that they’re selling them out of the country. So that wild ginseng, we issue certificates of origin for wild ginseng from Wisconsin. Once they get it certified from us at the department of natural resources, then they’re able to sell it outside the state of Wisconsin.”

Char Robaidek/Wild Ginseng Program Coordinator – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “Last year I think there were about 54 citations issues for ginseng related violations. Some include theft from private land. Some other problems are poaching on public land like state of Wisconsin owned land or forest service land because those places are off limits to ginseng harvest.  The harvester must replant the seeds from the plant in the vicinity of the parent plant. It’s one of those things that helps ensure that there will be wild populations in the future.

Char Robaidek/Wild Ginseng Program Coordinator – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “I think people like just to be out there and looking for it. That’s half the fun really. Once you find a few plants, it just sticks in your mind and all of sudden nothing else looks like it. And you just want to find more and more and more of them. It’s addicting.”