Shoe leather, high tech catch plant poachers
By CARIN TUNNEY & CHAO YAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — While uprooting a plant may seem harmless, conservationists say the environmental consequences of removing ginseng could someday be severe. The plant is highly vulnerable due to high market demand, especially in Asia where it is made into supplements. The native plant is already considered endangered in Michigan. That’s why conservation officers and high-tech methods are in place to prevent poachers who break laws elsewhere from coming to Michigan, where the plant is on the state list of threatened species. A 1994 state law regulates the harvesting, sale and distribution of American ginseng, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).