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Mushroom regulation in Forest Act

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Brief description of the instrument and its modus operandi

Specifies what should be understood as the allowable quantity of “recreational mushroom picking”

Which problem the instrument is supposed to solve?

Before there was uncertainty: Mushroom picking was not publicly allowed under the RFG 1852 (Reichsforstgesetz) and the following Forest Act 19Yes and it was not regulated in the Forest Act 1975 BUT it was always a common practice and tolerated. Formally, any gathering in the forest was bound to the consent of the owner. With the new Forest Act 1975 the free access for the public for recreational purposes was established but recreational picking not regulated. It therefore remained ambiguity about what is a tolerable use (mushroom picking).

Purpose or main objective / overall goal of the instrument?

To allow recreational picking but to protect the owners’ rights (ownership of the products) at the same time.

Side objectives/goals of the instrument?

To protect the mushrooms against overharvesting (is stated in the explanatory text to the law).

Which laws and regulations support the implement of this instrument?

No additional specific regulation but it relies on the basic definition of land owners’ property rights (§§ 354, 405 ABGB).

The initiator/promoter of the instrument?

Government agency

Which organizations are involved in the operationalization of the instrument?

Forest authority

How the monitoring is ensured?

Supervision by owners and police.

How the compliance is ensured?

Supervision by owners and police.

How is the overall performance of the instrument?

Goal 1: Allow for recreational use: successful. // Goal 2: protect PR of owners: only partly successful. 1)Large-scale commercial picking is restricted but there is still much on the grey market/black market from small-scale picking. 2) It is not possible that the owner prohibits the picking and sells licences. This would be in the PR of the owner but has no acceptance by the public.

Brief description of the context for the emergence of the instrument

Perceived right of the public for recreational use of forest and of the so-called “minor forest uses” for local people. The outcry/conflict was on the side of the local land-less population against the “aristocratic” large-scale land-owners.

Have any of the items mentioned above changed since the instrument entered into force?


Is there any qualitative or quantitative study of the impacts of the instrument?


Related to

Forstgesetz 1975 (Forest Act 1975, Austria)

Year 1987
Policy area
Affected activity
Affected actors Landowner/land manager, Picker/harvester/hunter
Products Mushrooms/truffles
Countries Austria
Regions (NUTS 2) Styria
Focus on NWFP
Document category
Instrument type
Legal status
"{{{Legal status }}}" is not in the list of possible values (Binding, Non-binding) for this property.
Geographical scope National
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