A Forest Service permit is necessary to dig ginseng on National Forest System lands in the United States.
Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia will begin selling ginseng permits for the 2023 harvest season on Monday, August 28. Permits may be purchases at ranger stations in Parsons, Petersburg, Richwood, Bartow, Marlinton or White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, or the Supervisor’s Office in Elkins, Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A ginseng permit costs $20 each, and a separate permit is required for each district on the Forest. Permits are limited to one permit per person per district at a time this year, and each permit allows you to collect up to 95 plants from one ranger district during the West Virginia ginseng season, which is Sept. 1 through Nov. 30. Additional permits may be purchased for the same district after return of each completed permit, as supplies allow.
For harvest, ginseng plants must have three or more prongs and have produced fruit this year. When harvesting, plant the fruit on-site and keep the rest of the plant intact. Harvest no more than 24 plants per day and have no more than 24 plants in your possession while on national forest land.