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Museum of Natural History
Maryland bans ginseng picking on public lands
Maryland bans ginseng picking on public lands

Hoping to save what's left of Maryland's dwindling wild ginseng population, the state has banned collection of the sought-after herb on all state-owned lands. Worried that remaining patches of the slow-growing plant are being stripped from Western Maryland forests by pickers hoping to cash in on its reputed health benefits, the Department of Natural Resources announced this week that harvest would no longer be permitted in state forests or in wildlife management areas. Picking ginseng already was prohibited in state parks. "Frankly, I think everybody had been expecting it," Jonathan A. McKnight, associate director of the state Wildlife and Heritage Service, said of...