According to local legend, in the beginning, BC's central coast was all ice and snow, with only a narrow strip of shore. Obviously the climate precluded Devil's Club wildcrafting for a time; the plant needs a climactic zone of 5-6 and frequent watering. As the ice sheet melted, Devil's Club rootstock was brought from the Ontario/Michigan farms to the Pacific Northwest. Just a few thousand years later it was brought to Asia and developed into Oplopanax Japonicus. Both plants are considered to have been derived by genetic experimentation, and now you're on the same page on ancient history..
Devil's Club has seen continual cultivation for millennia in half the world's temperate rainforests. Medical harvesting has only lapsed in recent times, as has its cultivation for trade, which is unfortunate because the plant was developed in an advanced manner, purposefully, to be our medicine. It's under intense scientific scrutiny.
Humans have negelected their duty in recent times to care for our medicinal panacaea but bears continue to pull down stems and tramp down the patch to get at the berries, leaving slightly damaged, more supple and thus more recumbent stems to potentially root. Noticing the claw marks, and that the cores of some of the canes are rotting out, leaving them supple and more easily pushed down, it can be observed that this is a symbiosis of sorts in which the bears are actively involved by spreading the patches, leading to root expansion and the large patches with an abundance of berries. Without our involvement, the plant relies on the bears to root pieces farther from the main root.
Sustainable harvesting has developed the bears' natural approach into a best practice by cutting back the longest stems, shoving a couple of cut tops and a few bits well into the mud, and weighing down a couple of damaged and inferior canes to root. In this way we're actually grooming the patch for increased production. Where previously a few taller canes with their big leaves had shaded out younger branches, new short tops and baby roots now get a chance. We all win here if we practice sustainable Devil's Club wildcrafting; the bears, the environment, the medicine man, and the clients who need the panacaea.
he takeaway point is that when we are wildcrafting we can improve yields as we do in the garden and reduce environmental concern; we could showcase that,and I will. If you see cut stems, take a closer look at the ancient panacaea plant under cultivation, that modern medicine can't approach, fresh as you want it, from the Great Bear Rainforest.