Due to several incidents of poached ginseng and other protected plant populations reported in various state forests, the Elk State Forest staff would like to remind state forest users of rules and regulations in place to protect native plant resources on state forest land and Title 17 Chapter 45, Conservation of Pennsylvania Native Wild Plants rules to protect native plants in Pennsylvania.
Collecting plants including American Ginseng, Goldenseal and over 500 other plant species listed in Title 17 Chapter 45 is prohibited and considered as theft from state forest land.
The legal season for harvesting American Ginseng on land other than state forests, begins Sept. 1.
Additionally, the ginseng berries need to be red at the time of harvest and planted at the site where they are harvested, and the plant needs to have three leaves of five leaflets each.
The removal of these plants is under investigation and the district asks for any information on individuals who may be removing plants from the state forest illegally.
Please call the district at 814-486-3353 Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.