The legality is an oversight on my part. Here in Ohio it is legal to collect seed from wild plants as long as you are not harvesting the root. They are working on changing that as we speak. But not illegal now. My organization has worked with the state ginseng regulators and gotten special permission for out of season salvage harvests, etc., which is something that the conservation organizations should explore. For conservation purposes they should be able to get a special permit to collect at least some seed in case the transplanting fails them. Always good to form partnerships with the powers that be. But every state has a different approach and every coordinator has a different opinion.
Interesting scouting trip yesterday at a new spot I have permission to dig. No luck, but that how it goes. I did see some pefect sites, but it wasn't there. It's a huge farm tucked in the mountains and they have a big sugaring operation.It's got all the stuff you want to see including some of the blackest loam you ever did see! I didn't even come close to covering it though, so I'm sure I'll find it. It's very steep and right down the road from a couple other patches I dig. It's going to take days to cover it.
I did have some excitement though. I was up high meandering through some huge boulders and I heard something move around the corner from me, so I hollered out a few times. This is major bear territory. A little while later I skirted a huge rock out cropping. As I went around to the low side of it there was a 4' high cave and trails leading in and out of it! I unhitched the strap on my sidearm and slowly went sideways away from it. I got about 50- 60 yards away and snapped this pic. No bears seen, thank God, but I'm sure I booted one.
Maya, upon closer inspection I do think that is gooseberry. If it has really fine thorns growing from the stems then I would say with certainty that is what it is. It is one of those things that I just never analyzed and wasn't too sure about the leaf pattern, but after looking at a couple in person yesterday I'm pretty sure that's what it is.