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Ginseng theft growing in the Midwest

State warns landowners to keep a close eye on their property

Ginseng theft growing in the Midwest

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeing an increase in ginseng theft around the Midwest.

The Department is now warning landowners to keep a close eye on their property.

The latest case was in Trempealeau County, after an Independence man was found guilty in April of illegally harvesting almost $10,000 of wild ginseng. He harvested the plant not only out of season, but on someone's land without their permission.

The DNR says with the help of landowners the growing problem can be put to a stop.

"It's kind of a collaborate effort between us landowners. We do a lot of education so landowners are aware of it, so they're are actually paying attention for this kind of activity. Landowners really need to help. If we don't get the calls and complaints from landowners, it's next to impossible to catch somebody doing this illegally," said Chris Shea, a conservation warden from the Department. 

If you suspect someone is illegally growing ginseng, you can call the DNR tip hotline at 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367

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