Endangered Species - Enforcement and Penalties - West Virginia

...(f) All ginseng harvested in this state shall be certified as to type, whether wild, cultivated, woods grown or wild simulated, and to its origin, weight and lawful harvest. Other information may be required for ginseng to be certified by the division to comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to allow for its export: Provided, That live one and two-year old cultivated, woods-grown or wild simulated rootlets sold by growers for propagation purposes within the United States are not regarded as harvested and are exempt from the certification requirement. All ginseng, except cultivated ginseng, must be certified or weight receipted by April 1 of the year following harvest: Provided, however, That no ginseng may be certified between January 1 through March 31 unless the person requesting certification displays a valid permit. It is unlawful for a person to have in his or her possession uncertified wild ginseng from April 1 through August 31...

(h) The division may, by order entered in accordance with the provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, deny, suspend or revoke the permit of a grower or dealer and may invalidate an export certificate completed by a dealer when the division finds that a grower or dealer has violated any provision of this section or a legislatively approved rule.

(i) The division may assess a civil penalty against a person who violates any provision of this section or a provision of a legislatively approved rule. The division may assess a monetary penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500.

(j) Any person violating a provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 for the first offense, and for each subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail not more than six months, or both. The court, in imposing the sentence of a person convicted of an offense under this section, shall order the person to forfeit all ginseng involved in the offense.

(k) It is the duty of the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the violation occurred to represent the division, to institute proceedings and to prosecute the person charged with the violation.

Citation: W. Va. Code, § 19-1A-3a.