(July 26, 2006, Silver Spring, MD) -- The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has just released a series of brochures to encourage good stewardship practices by those who harvest wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) roots.
Wild American ginseng is one of the most important of the non-timber forest products collected in the mountain areas of the Eastern United States. There is a broad interest in ensuring that the people who harvest this plant do so in a manner that protects it for the future. This interest extends from the collectors themselves to their customers, and also to non-profit organizations and regulatory agencies.
The Good Stewardship Harvesting of Wild American Ginseng brochures were developed with input and review by AHPA members, state ginseng coordinators throughout American ginseng's U.S. range, personnel at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), by the board of United Plant Savers (UpS), and the board of the Roots of Appalachia Growers Association (RAGA) for the Ohio brochure.
The harvest practices presented in these brochures are provided in order to encourage people who collect wild American ginseng to act as stewards of the plant and of its habitat. Ginseng harvesters who follow these guidelines will contribute to a sustainable future for wild American ginseng and preserve a long-standing American tradition.
"Those who harvest wild American ginseng may have a positive impact on the future of this important species by replanting mature seeds and adhering to other good stewardship practices" said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president.
"Also the development of these guidelines presented an important opportunity for co-operation with our friends and colleagues at FWS, UpS, RAGA, and all of the state ginseng coordinators," McGuffin said.
"For the last decade, UpS has encouraged wildcrafting herbalists, ginseng diggers and our Sanctuary members to follow good stewardship harvesting practices," said Lynda LeMole, UpS executive director. "These new educational brochures make it clear and easy to follow sustainable guidelines for the good of the plants, the people, and the wild habitats that will thrive, if our native medicinals are properly conserved."
There are 19 versions of the brochure, one for each of the states that allow export of wild American ginseng. Each state-specific brochure presents information about the current State and Federal rules that apply to harvesters and buyers of wild American ginseng in that state, and provides contact information for the relevant state regulatory offices. The brochures are available for download at: http://www.ahpa.org/GinsengBrochures, and are designed to be photocopied for easy distribution to ginseng buyers and ginseng diggers.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) represents the core of the botanical trade -- comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products -- AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbs are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org. -- Media Contact: Karen Robin Director of Communications American Herbal Products Association Telephone: (301) 588-1171, x-107 Email: [email protected]: www.ahpa.org