It’s ginseng harvest time. See story below

Theft of catalytic convertor in McKean County investigated….Bradford driver escapes injury in car/deer collision…Drug possession charges filed against Johnsonburg teen….Heating fuel stolen in Elk County…State has information about ginseng picking….

McKean County

 State police at Lewis Run are investigating the theft of a catalytic convertor from a vehicle parked in Eldred Township Friday morning. The part was cut out of a Ford Econoline E-450 owned by a 47 Appling, GA man while it was parked  on the Prentisvale Road.

A Bradford driver and his teenage passenger escaped injury in a car/deer collision last Wednesday in Hamlin Township. Troopers said Troy Smith was going north on Route 219 when a deer came onto the road in front of his 2019 Subaru Legacy and he was unable to avoid hitting the whitetail.

Troopers at Lewis Run arrested 52 year old Isaac Candelario of Rochester, NY for drug possession. Authorities claim when they stopped Candelario’s 2010 Mercury Milan on South Avenue in Bradford last Wednesday evening for multiple traffic violations, they found him in possession of a controlled substance and related drug paraphernalia.

Drug possession charges are pending against a Johnsonburg teenager. State police at Ridgway stopped a 2008  Volkswagen Passatt driven by an 18 year old for traffic violations on North Broad Street in Ridgway Saturday evening and allegedly found him in possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The suspect’s name was withheld by police.

Elk County

The theft of some heating fuel in Benezette Township over the past year was investigated by troopers Ridgway. The fuel is valued at $100 and belonged to 90 year Paul  Ey of Benezett.

State police at Emporium arrested 35 year old Shaun Parks of Emporium for drug possession after questioning him on S. Broad Street Friday afternoon and reportedly finding him with drug paraphernalia.


We’ve recently seen requests for ginseng in the region.

Because of this history of collection, DCNR has classified ginseng as a Pennsylvania Vulnerable plant, and trade is regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A license is required to export ginseng from Pennsylvania.

Collecting Ginseng

Many people collect ginseng wild from forests while some choose to grow it in plots. People who harvest wild ginseng must follow these considerations to maintain healthy populations:

Collection is not permitted on state lands

Collect only mature plants with at least three five-pronged leaves and red berries

Collect only during harvest season (September 1 through November 30)

Plant seeds near the harvested plant to ensure future ginseng plants

Permits are not needed for collection, but you must get permission from a private landowner first

Poaching is illegal

For more about responsible harvesting practices, please read Good Stewardship Harvesting of Wild American Ginseng

“Pennsylvania Vulnerable” — a classification within the regulation, Pennsylvania Conservation of Native Wild Plants (Chapter 45) — includes plant species in danger of decline because of frequent removal from their native habitats for commercial or personal use.

They are vulnerable to over-collection due to their beauty, economic value, or use in horticultural trade.

Three species are classified as Pennsylvania Vulnerable:

American ginseng

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

Yellow lady-slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus)

It is prohibited to trade these plants without obtaining a Vulnerable Plant Commercial License.


American ginseng dealers (individuals who sell the plant) must obtain a Vulnerable Plant Commercial License; this action is prohibited otherwise. The license is granted annually provided the applicant complies with requirements.

DCNR oversees this program and uses information collected by licensed dealers to track the quantities of wild ginseng and other vulnerable plants collected for export from Pennsylvania forestlands. These statistics are obtained through buyer-seller transactions. Accuracy of both collector and dealer reporting is critical.

Harvesting — collecting, growing, or picking — ginseng does not require a special license. However, harvesters must obtain written permission from private landowners first.

Harvest is prohibited on state lands — state parks, state forests, or state game lands. All ginseng to be traded must be presented to DCNR officials a state forest office, where it will be inspected, weighed, and certified.

Certificates must be present with the lot of ginseng when it is shipped internationally.

Harvest Dates

The ginseng harvest season is from September 1 – November 30. It is illegal to harvest ginseng outside of this timeframe.

Harvest of mature wild plants is only permitted when the plants have at least three leaves of five leaflets (“prongs”) each and only when the berries are red. This ensures that the ginseng plants will have seeds to replant near the collection site, to allow the population to continue. It is required to replant the harvested seeds.

Possession of Green Ginseng

It is illegal to possess green ginseng roots between April 1 – September 1 of any calendar year. The intent of this rule is to ensure that collection only occurs during the permitted season.

Collecting the plant too early may mean that immature plants are being collected. This hurts wild populations by not allowing seed to set. This practice also may provide an inferior product.

Growing Ginseng

While many people enjoy hunting and collecting wild ginseng, it can also be grown in plots as a supplementary income or a private hobby. Growing ginseng can be beneficial to the species by taking collection pressure off the wild populations, while still providing a good product for trade.

A permit is not needed to grow ginseng; however, cultivated ginseng should be declared as such when it is certified and/or sold. Cultivation of ginseng can range from minimally tended patches in the woods to more traditional “farming” operations.