Ginseng Collection To Be Limited In Cherokee National Forest

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ginseng is a native plant of Tennessee that grows mostly in cool, moist mountain forests. This perennial herb is highly prized for its large, fleshy roots which are believed to have medicinal value. Permits are required to collect ginseng in the national forest. Range-wide, wild ginseng populations have declined over the past decade. The Forest Service is limiting the collection of ginseng in the Cherokee National Forest because of concerns about sustainable harvest levels. Forest Service managers believe it is in everyone’s best interest to limit the amount of collection to help ensure that the plant’s future sustainability is protected.

Collecting Season & Permits
Starting in 2013, the Forest Service is implementing the following process for permitting ginseng collecting in the Cherokee National Forest:
• The 2013 ginseng collecting season will be from September 16th through September 30th. This two week period will be the only time that ginseng can be legally collected in the Cherokee National Forest by valid permit holders.
• The Forest Service will issue a total of 40 permits, each with a maximum limit of 25 roots.
• A lottery will be held to determine the 40 permittees. Twenty permits will be issued for the northern half of the Forest (Watauga & Unaka Ranger Districts) and twenty permits will be issued for the southern half of the Forest (Tellico & Ocoee Ranger Districts).
• Lottery applicants may only apply for either the north or the south Cherokee NF.
• Permits will cost $20 and are limited to one permit per person per year. Permittees must be at least 18 years of age.

• Five ginseng collection zones have been designated for the north Cherokee NF (Watauga & Unaka Districts), and five collecting zones for the south Cherokee NF (Tellico & Ocoee Districts). Only one zone on each half of the Forest will be open for collection each year. Collection zones will be rotated each year to allow plants a five-year recovery period necessary to help ensure populations remain sustainable.

For 2013 the following collection zones will be open:
o North Cherokee NF – Zone 1: Cherokee NF land in Cocke County
o South Cherokee NF – Zone 4: Cherokee NF land between Hwy 68 south of Tellico Plains and Hwy 165.
• A map will be issued with each permit indicating areas within the zone that are open for collecting. No collecting will be permitted outside the areas designated on the map.
2013 Ginseng Permit Lottery

Lottery applicants may only apply for one half of the Forest– north Cherokee NF or south Cherokee NF. All persons interested in obtaining a permit to collect ginseng in either the north or the south Cherokee National Forest for the 2013 season must submit a letter of request to:

U.S. Forest Service
2800 Ocoee Street N.
Cleveland, TN 37312
ATTN: Ginseng Permits

Letters of request can be sent to the office listed above between August 9th and August 30th, 2013, but must be received no later than August 30th to be included in the lottery. Letters must include the following information:
• Applicant’s full name (person who will do collecting)
• Mailing address
• Phone number of the individual who will do the collecting
• Which section of the Forest the permit is being requested for – north Cherokee NF or south Cherokee NF (only one section can be applied for)

Successful permittees will be notified by letter beginning the week of September 2nd. In order to obtain the permit, individuals must bring the letter of notification and valid ID to the Ranger District Office identified in the lottery notification letter to pay for and sign the permit prior to collecting. Once notified, successful applicants may obtain their permits beginning the week of September 9th, or anytime during the open season (Sept. 16 -30).

For more Information
For questions or additional information please call: Unaka Ranger District– 423-638-4109, or Tellico Ranger District – 423-253-8400.
_______________________________________________________________________________


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Adventure Kids After School Program  Sept. 1 through Nov. 17 The  After School Adventure Kids program   is a great opportunity for kids ages 9-13 to build outdoor skills that will stay with them into adulthood. Adventurers ... (click for more)

Claire Henley: Adventures West (Shakedown On The Appalachian Trail)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon. Here is her story beginning in March). The last three days, I backpacked from Fontana Dam to Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 40.6-mile stretch ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Asks City Police To Investigate Fatal Shooting By County Deputies Of Brent Pickard,They Chased Into The City Limits

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston has asked Chattanooga Police to investigate a fatal shooting involving Hamilton County deputies who chased a suspect from Old Lee Highway to Pine Marr Drive inside the city limits. Brent Pickard, 46, was identified as the suspect. Four Hamilton County deputies were placed on leave, pending the investigation. At Pine Mar, Pickard ... (click for more)

DISH And Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Finalizing Long-Term Deal; Stations To Be Restored

DISH Network L.L.C. and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. have reached an agreement in principle that will form the basis of a long-term retransmission consent agreement for carriage of Sinclair’s local channels in 79 markets nationwide. Restoration of Sinclair signals to DISH’s system is underway. “We are grateful for the FCC’s work on behalf of consumers to actively broker ... (click for more)

The Obvious In School Test Scores - And Response (3)

I have been watching what has become an annual event in Chattanooga, which is the hand wringing and blame game associated with low test scores in our schools.  I keep waiting for someone to bring up what should be obvious unless they either don't want to talk about it or think they shouldn't because it might not be politically correct.   1) The highest school test scores ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Her Heart Will Go On

Tonight’s a big night in Las Vegas, one of the biggest in quite a while. Celine Dion, truly one of the most magnificent singers of our time, will return to the stage of the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace after a year’s absence and, if you dare think you can get a seat, it has been sold out for months. Of course, they say in Vegas you can buy anything, but tonight is one of the toughest ... (click for more)