Missing Upstate New York Man Found Stealing Plant ‘Creating Wild West’
A missing New York State man likely didn't want to be found. That's because he was allegedly illegally harvesting a plant that's creating a new "wild west."
On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement released a new Environmental Conservation Police on Patrol. The DEC reported on a missing New York man who "may not have wanted to be found."
Police Search For Missign Delaware County, New York Man
"A Delaware County man, reported missing over the summer, may not have wanted to be found," the DEC states in its press release.
The unnamed man was reported missing on Aug. 31, 2022, after failing to return to his Delaware County, New York home. Multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the man and his vehicle.
On Sept. 1, the missing man's friend spotted his the missing man's vehicle on a private logging road in the town of Middletown.
Missing Man Found Unlawfully Harvesting Wild Ginseng In Delaware County, New York
Soon after, a Delaware County Sherriff's Office K9 tracked and located the missing person. He was found to be in good health, harvesting ginseng in a wooded area several hundred yards up the mountain from his vehicle, according to the DEC.
The man was in possession of two one-gallon bags of freshly harvested American ginseng. The DEC alleges he was illegally harvesting ginseng.
"ECO Woodin interviewed the subject to determine if he had permission to harvest on the private property. While the man claimed he received permission years ago, the landowners told ECO Woodin they had not given permission to harvest ginseng on the property," the DEC states.
41 Harvested Ginseng Roots Seized, Missing Upstate New York Man Arrested
The ECO seized the two bags totaling 41 harvested ginseng roots and charged the man with harvesting ginseng without landowner permission, trespassing, and petit larceny. He's due back in court in the Town of Middletown.
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Ginseng diggers must obtain written permission from the landowner before harvesting on private property, according to the DEC. Wild ginseng can only be collected in New York from Sept. 1 - Nov. 30. For more information CLICK HERE.
"New York's ginseng program and laws exist to ensure the survival of the species in the wild, compliance with all federal and international laws and regulations, and the viability of New York ginseng as a valuable forest product," the DEC adds.
Why is American Ginseng In Demand?
American ginseng is very popular in China because it's believed to help with a number of issues like fatigue, depression and impotence, according to National Geographic.
Demand for American ginseng is creating a "wild west," National Geographic reports.