COLUMBUS, OH – American ginseng hunters are being reminded that uncertified root may not be possessed after March 31 without a weight receipt, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Anyone planning to keep uncertified ginseng beyond the deadline must schedule an appointment to get it weighed and documented.
In Ohio, the harvest season for ginseng runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 each year. All harvested ginseng must be certified by the ODNR Division of Wildlife prior to export from the state to verify its weight and legal origin. Federal law requires that all state lots of ginseng be separated and totaled by the year. Because of this necessity, all uncertified ginseng must be weighed and accounted for each year.
Appointments for weight receipts are available for the first and third Wednesday in March at the designated locations listed below, and the division requests that these appointments be scheduled at least three business days in advance to ensure that staff members are available.
Wildlife District One Office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215
Wildlife District Three Office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron 44319
Wolf Creek Wildlife Area, 961 South State Route 78 SW, Malta 43758
Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area, 5403 CH & D Road, Oak Hill 45656
Wildlife District Five Office, 1076 Old Springfield Pike, Xenia 45385
937-372-5639, ext. 5033
The export of American ginseng from the state of Ohio is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and ODNR. Ginseng is a slow-growing perennial herb that is highly valued in the United States and worldwide for its alleged medicinal traits. Due to its value and significant harvest pressure, regulation on both harvest and export are necessary to ensure survival of the species.
Additional information about American ginseng and harvest regulations can be found in the publication Ohio’s Green Gold available on wildohio.gov.