|We and others,
such as Gordon Campbell of Vermont, hold the opinion that far more ginseng
in the last century has been lost here in Northern New England to excessive
wood harvesting and various other sources of loss of habitat, than the actual
harvesting of ginseng. Acid rain is another threat to ginseng, as it tends
to block the uptake of calcium from the soil.
We further believe that human greed and failure to consider the needs of future generations is the driving factor behind the depletion or loss of virtually all natural resources. Fisherman would recognize this phenomenon as "taking every trout out of the fishing hole" syndrome. While there are some of us who naturally show restraint and conservation, by leaving the small ones and planting the berries, others will never be able to grasp the long-term consequences of their greed and short sightedness.
After many dozens of miles of hiking in the forest we have come to realize the importance of the various forms of ginseng propagation. This ranges from large scale cultivation with artificial shade to Wild-Simulated growth as close to natural conditions as possible. Worldwide demand will continue to accelerate, therefore, propagation and proliferation must respond in kind.
We now have the CITES treaty regulating the international trade of endangered plants and animals. Ginseng is in category II. Regulations and restraint of excessive wood harvesting and other sources of loss of habitat are also overdue.
It is ironic that this past century's largest and most significant loss of ginseng has been ignored. We have a virtually endless supply of lumber and fiber for domestic needs, as well as for some exportation. We can not continue to sustain the rate of harvest, of approximately the past two decades, to supply the world with logs and lumber. According to the US Forest Service, after clear cutting, some understory species require several, human lifetimes to return.
We must remember the forest is more than just the trees.