Hunter-Gatherers will soon need a Truffle-Tag
Truffles will become Oregonís first regulated forest product in nearly 20 years, as Oregonís Board of Forestry moves forward in establishing rules and requiring permits for truffle hunting.
As the demand for the treasured black and white truffles by Oregonís gourmet chefs has greatly increased, so have the complaints and concerns of forestland owners encountering sometimes careless and aggressive truffle hunters.
Though both mushrooms and truffles are fungi, truffles have the distinction of growing underground. Unlike their above-ground cousins, this trait had kept truffles and truffle hunting under the radar of regulation on state and private forestlands.
Truffles are harvested by digging among the roots of Douglas firs. According to the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, the process can be accomplished without damaging the trees, but careless harvesting poses a great risk to the treeís health.
A Lincoln County Sheriffís deputy in direct contact with land owners and truffle hunters has testified before a legislative committee in supporting the need for permits, or fines for the troublesome truffle harvesters.
Truffle hunters, like those harvesting mushrooms or gathering firewood, will be required to contact landowners or the Oregon Department of Forestry for permission. The Board of Forestry has until July to finalize details of its new forest regulations. Public comments are accepted through April 1st.