How about the state of Wisconsin working with volunteers to restore ginseng?
We all have weird ideas of what is best for hunting, trapping, gathering, and fishing seasons and regulations.
Sometimes the strangest of these ideas, if we take the time to think about them with an open mind, may be worth further consideration.
The state releases pheasants and trout, re-reintroduces elk, moves problem animals to new homes, and re-establishes prairies and savannas where they once were.
How about re-establishing ginseng or at least helping to replacing plants that were removed by violators who have put ruts in what may have been a level playing field?
Maybe the state, with the help of volunteers, could collect what little ginseng seeds exist inside autumn’s bright red berries and plant them to assure more germinate, which might help the population recover.
We have a formal assist program for landowners who want to improve habitat for deer and other creatures large and small. Why not a similar program for landowners who have had ginseng stolen by unscrupulous diggers.
How about moving up the alphabet from DMAP to GMAP, Ginseng Management Assistance Program?
There was discussion last fall, after the DNR's Bureau of Law Enforcement's Project Red Berry, of at least helping to make landowners and land managers (of state lands) aware that there may be satellite ginseng populations in some locations. These land stewards should be made aware, the review suggested, that there was “gold in them there soils” but someone may be stealing it right in front of their eyes.
Should Wisconsin at least consider restoring ginseng populations even on land where the population is fully protected, at least on paper it is protected?
Or should we just keep this quiet and continue to not educate people about ginseng?