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Ginseng season starts Sunday in WV

Ginseng

Wild ginseng is shown.

West Virginia’s 2019 ginseng season opens Sunday and continues through Nov. 30.

A law introduced in the 2018 season requires all diggers to provide government-issued photo identification to sell their ginseng to a registered dealer. Fines for violating the law are no less than $500 up to $1,000 for a first offense and $1,000 and not more than $2,000 for multiple offenses.

In 2018, 31 ginseng hunters were prosecuted for various illegal activities. The violations included digging out of season, buying and selling without a dealer’s permit, possessing ginseng younger than five years and digging without written permission.

Details on ginseng are available online at https://wvforestry.com/ginseng-program. The program site includes a description of mature ginseng plants, rules for harvesting and resources, such as lists of West Virginia ginseng dealers and weigh stations.

Ginseng is valued because many believe it can cure sickness, increase vitality, relieve mental and physical fatigue and prolong life. Rules for its harvesting are intended to protect the plant species from extinction.

The perennial herb grows slowly, with seeds that take two years to germinate. By law, only ginseng plants with three or more prongs are old enough to harvest. Ginseng diggers must replant the seeds from the parent plant in the spot where they harvested it to help continue the species.

Poaching is illegal and threatens the survival of wild ginseng. Digging for ginseng is not permitted in state forests, state parks or other state-owned public land. Ginseng hunters must have written permission to dig the plants on private property.

Diggers have until March 31 to sell to a registered West Virginia ginseng dealer or have roots weight-receipted at one of the West Virginia Division of Forestry weigh stations. A weight receipt is a record of the ginseng dug during the current year and the individual who wants to hold it over to the next digging/buying season.

Dealers purchased green (wet) and dry ginseng that totaled 9,000 pounds for the 2018 ginseng season.

Ginseng grows in all 55 counties.

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Funerals for Saturday, September 21, 2019

Abodeely, Malakee - 11 a.m., St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Charleston. 

Ayers, Helen - 11 a.m., Belcher Family Cemetery, Pinch Ridge.

Backus, Ernest - 2 p.m., First Baptist Church of Rainelle.

Bailey, Jerry - 5 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Carney Jr., Chester - 2 p.m., Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Carter, Blanche - 11 a.m., Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, North Elkview.

Copen, Louise - Noon, McRoss Baptist Church, McRoss.

Fizer, Donna - 3 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Fowler, Jeannette - 1 p.m., Casto Funeral Home, Evans.

Goard II, Mitchell - 5 p.m., Central Community Tabernacle, Charleston.

Hammack, Barbara - 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Kessinger, Wilma - 4 p.m., Canaan Baptist Church, Charleston.

Knight II, James - 6 p.m., Casto Funeral Home, Evans.

Lymon, Daniel - 1 p.m., Grace Bible Church, Charleston.

McKown, Travis - Noon, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Wallback.

Miller, Alexander - 4 p.m., Roane County High School, Spencer.

Mitchell, Emma - 2 p.m., Calvary Baptist Church, Hurricane.

Montgomery, Betty - 11 a.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Charleston.

Pfeil, Ruth - 2 p.m., Gatens-Harding Funeral Home Chapel, Poca.

Roush III, George - 12:30 p.m., Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.

Samuels, Hazel - 1:30 p.m., Dunbar Kingdom Hall, Dunbar.

Slonaker II, Harvey - Noon, Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Starks, Henry - 11 a.m., Lantz Funeral Home, Buckeye.

Stooke, David - Noon, Henson & Kitchen Mortuary, Huntington.

Thompson, Thomas - 2 p.m., Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.

White, Duane - 1 p.m., Evans Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Chapmanville.

White, James - 1 p.m., Cedar Grove Middle School, Cedar Grove.

Woodson Jr., Lewis - 1 p.m., Abundant Life Ministries, Charleston.