A decade after publication of his book Ginseng: The Divine Root, David Taylor '83 is still writing on the topic. Smithsonian magazine has published Taylor's investigative piece, "The Fight Against Ginseng Poaching in the Great Smoky Mountains."
"A profitable black market for the native shrub pits the National Park Service against poor residents of Appalachia," reads the sub-head.
"This winter," Taylor's piece begins, "amid the news of the FBI's arrest of the remaining occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon, another story unfolded more quietly in the Appalachians. At the heart of it were a small plant that plays a significant role in eastern mountain forests -- American ginseng -- and Billy Joe Hurley, a North Carolina man who had just been released from prison for stealing ginseng plants from Great Smoky Mountains National Park."