A Delaware County, NY man reported missing over the summer may not have wanted to be found. Reported missing on August 31st after failing to return home, multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the man and his vehicle.
On September 1st, a friend of the missing man spotted his vehicle on a private logging road in the town of Middletown in the Catskills. A Delaware County Sherriff’s Office K9 tracked and located the missing person in good health, harvesting ginseng in a wooded area several hundred yards up the mountain from his vehicle.
The man possessed two one-gallon bags of freshly harvested American ginseng. NYS Environmental Conservation Officer Woodin interviewed the subject to determine if he had permission to harvest on the private property. While the man claimed he received permission years ago, ECO Woodin reported that the landowners told him had not given permission to harvest ginseng on the property. The ECO seized the two bags totaling 41 harvested ginseng roots and charged the man with harvesting ginseng without landowner permission, trespassing, and petit larceny, returnable to the Town of Middletown Court.
New York’s ginseng program and laws exist to ensure the survival of the species in the wild, compliance with all federal and international laws and regulations, and the viability of New York ginseng as a valuable forest product. Wild ginseng can only be collected from September 1st through November 30th. For more information, go to DEC’s website.
Photo of ECO Woodin with seized ginseng in Delaware County provided.