SALEM, Ore. -

Truffle hunting -- a hobby pursued in Oregon's forests, not the grocery store candy aisle  --has a new set of regulations, including a state permit requirement, under legislation adopted by lawmakers earlier this year.

These fungal delicacies that grow beneath the soil's surface were designated a "special forest product" by the Oregon Legislature.

As a result, anyone who intends to collect truffles in the forest this fall must have a permit issued by the landowner.  

House Bill 2615 amended the state statute on the harvesting of special forest products, ORS 164.183, to broaden the category of "edible mushrooms" to "edible fungi," thus including truffles.

Other special forest products already subject to harvest regulation under the law include firewood, cedar shake bolts, and greens such as tree boughs and salal.

HB 2615 also places a requirement on individuals and businesses that buy truffles harvested in Oregon's forests to maintain a record of their purchases.

ODF will make available new special forest products permit forms by October 1, 2014. For the 2013 truffle season, the department has prepared interim forms for landowners and buyers to use ,which can be picked up at any local ODF office.

Location and contact information for ODF headquarters and field offices can be found on the web, www.oregon.gov/odf.