LA SALLE, Ill. (AP) — Conservation police in Illinois say they're seeing an increase in the number of arrests this fall for illegally digging and harvesting ginseng.
Police say it's because the price for the root has gone up. Digging ginseng on state land, trespassing on private land to harvest ginseng and digging ginseng in a nature preserve are misdemeanors. Officers say it's happening in Bureau County in northern Illinois and the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, among other places.
Bureau County police say they confiscated 72 ginseng plants from two men who were caught digging in the Miller Anderson Woods State Nature Preserve a couple of weeks ago.
The (La Salle) News-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1s2275t ) reports wild American ginseng roots can be sold on the medicinal herb market for up to $1,000 a pound.