NORTHWOODS - Not too many things sell for hundreds of dollars per pound, unless we're talking gold or silver.
But northern Wisconsin forests produce something that's worth about just as much as something you'd find in a jewelry store.
And in many cases, taking it is highly illegal.
Poachers lurk in the forests of northern Wisconsin.
But they're not on the hunt for rare animals.
They're looking for rare plants - and big profits.
"There's decent money involved in ginseng root," says DNR Warder Supervisor David Walz.
Illegal harvest of ginseng root is a growing problem in Wisconsin.
It's shouldn't be much of a surprise, with how much wild ginseng can sell for.
For example, last year, "it was around $700, $750 per pound," Walz says.
I'm out in the woods looking for ginseng with Ryan Magana.
He's not actually a poacher - he's an ecologist with the DNR.
"This plant has cultural value in East Asia, among other places, with East Asia being prominent," Magana says. "They're willing to pay a lot of money for this plant. It's important to them culturally and economically. They're willing to pay a lot."
That's true, in part, because wild ginseng can be really hard to find.
"It's going to be subject to herbivory by deer, poaching by humans, and it has to be in the right habitat," says Magana.
A lot of the mesic soil and forest in Wisconsin - that is, not too wet or dry - is good habitat for ginseng growth.
In fact, 95% of the country's wild ginseng is taken from Wisconsin.
Ginseng harvest season started three weeks ago and runs through November 1.
The DNR regulates it heavily because it's so rare.
No harvest is allowed on federal or state lands, and harvest on private land requires a permit, property-owner permission, and taking only mature plants.
But with the prices ginseng can go for, poachers often throw those rules out the window.
"That's an issue that we often times see, with the money involved in ginseng root, we get some trespass issues," Walz says.
I'm not even allowed to say you exactly where Magana and I were in the forest, for fear that the place where we're looking to identify ginseng would be pounced upon by poachers.
We spent an hour searching and found nothing.
If poachers had found some, gotten caught, and been convicted, they'd be on the hook for hundreds of dollars in fines.
But with how much wild ginseng can go for, it's no wonder they take the risk - even if our search turned up nothing.
MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
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