European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 134, Issue 4, pp 585–598 | Cite as

Understanding forest owners’ preferences for policy interventions addressing mushroom picking in Catalonia (north-east Spain)

  • Elena Górriz-Mifsud
  • Glòria Domínguez-Torres
  • Irina Prokofieva
Original Paper


The present study investigates private forest owners’ perceptions of mushroom picking in Catalonia and develops a model of preferred policy intervention (introducing a regulation, a payment or keeping the status quo). The results allow the modelling of forest owners’ preferences regarding policy interventions based on two factors: their perception of property rights over mushrooms and their perception of related nuisances. Owners perceiving a low degree of harm and expressing a preference for free access rights for mushroom picking would maintain the current situation. Owners suffering from actual harm or threatened by potential harm call for regulation on mushroom harvesting. Payment is advocated by those who already experienced harm and consider mushrooms to be private goods, hence legitimating benefit gain from mushroom picking on their properties. Actual implementation of picking limitations or payments largely depends on perceived constraints, especially the fear of revenge and control costs. Interviewees considered that interventions led by the government could potentially overcome such constraints. Regarding design features of potential intervention, most forest owners advocated a more favourable treatment of local pickers, although almost no difference was found in the treatment of commercial and recreational harvesters.


Qualitative research Private forest owners Payments for mushroom picking Regulations Property rights Non-wood forest products 



This study has been conducted within the EC FP7 project Newforex. The authors thank the participating forest owners and the officials and technicians who collaborated with the study. We are grateful to Sarah Adams, and to the two anonymous reviewers for providing very insightful comments.


  1. Ajzen I (1991) The theory of planned behavior. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 50:179–211. doi: 10.1016/0749-5978(91)90020-T CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. BOCyL (1999) Decreto 130/1999, de 17 de junio, por el que se ordenan y regulan los aprovechamientos micológicos, en los montes ubicados en la Comunidad de Castilla y LeónGoogle Scholar
  3. Bouriaud L, Schmithüsen F (2005) Allocation of property rights on forests through ownership reform and forest policies in Central and Eastern European countries. Swiss For J 8:297–305. doi: 10.3188/szf.2005.0297 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Charmaz K (2006) Constructing grounded theory. A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Coggan A, Whitten SM, Bennett J (2010) Influences of transaction costs in environmental policy. Ecol Econ 69:1777–1784. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.04.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cole DH, Epstein G, Mcginnis MD (2014) Digging deeper into Hardin’s pasture: the complex institutional structure of “the tragedy of the commons”. J Inst Econ 10:353–369. doi: 10.1017/S1744137414000101 Google Scholar
  7. Davidson-Hunt I, Duchesne LC, Zasada, JC (2001) Non-timber forest products: local livelihoods and integrated forest management. In: Davidson-Hunt I, Duchesne LC, Zasada JC (eds) Forest communities in the third millennium: linking research, business, and policy toward a sustainable non-timber forest product sector. U.S.Forest Service, North Central Research Station, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  8. DOGC (2012) Ordre AAM/254/2012, d’aprovació del Pla pilot de recolecció de bolets dins de l’àmbit del paratge natural d’interés nacional de Poblet, i de creació del preu públic vinculat al Pla pilotGoogle Scholar
  9. Domínguez G, Shannon M (2011) A wish, a fear and a complaint: understanding the (dis)engagement of forest owners in forest management. Eur J For Res 130:435–450. doi: 10.1007/s10342-009-0332-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fletas M, Bayona M, Cervera, T (2012) Estructura de la propietat forestal de Catalunya. Anàlisi de dades cadastrals. Centre de la Propietat Forestal, Santa Perpetua de Mogoda, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  11. Gazetta Ufficiale (1993) Legge 23 agosto 1993, n. 352. Norme quadro in materia di raccolta e commercializzazione dei funghi epigei freschi e conservatiGoogle Scholar
  12. Glaser BG, Strauss AL (1967) The discovery of Grounded Theory: strategies for qualitative research. Aldine, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  13. Górriz E, Martínez de Aragón J, Bonet JA, Vallvey A (2014) La societat catalana accepta una regulació per la recollida de bolets i un pagament finalista cap a la gestió del bosc. Silvicultura 70:18–20Google Scholar
  14. Janota JJ, Broussard SR (2008) Examining private forest policy preferences. For Policy Econ 10:89–97. doi: 10.1016/j.forpol.2007.06.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kelle U (2005) “Emergence” versus “Forcing” of empirical data? A crucial problem of “Grounded Theory” reconsidered. Forum Qual Soc Res 6:2Google Scholar
  16. Laird SA, Wynberg R, McLain RJ (2011) Regulating complexity: policies for the governance of non-timber forest products. In: Shackleton S, Shackleton C, Shanley P (eds) Non-timber forest products in the global context. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Heidelberg, pp 227–253Google Scholar
  17. Martínez de Aragón J, Riera P, Giergiczny M, Colinas C (2011) Value of wild mushroom picking as an environmental service. For Policy Econ 13:419–424. doi: 10.1016/j.forpol.2011.05.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Moon K, Cocklin C (2011) Participation in biodiversity conservation: motivations and barriers of Australian landholders. J Rural Stud 27:331–342. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.04.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ostrom E, Burger J, Field CB, Norgaard RB, Policansky D (1999) Revisiting the commons: local lessons, global challenges. Science 284:278–282. doi: 10.1126/science.284.5412.278 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Palahí M, Pukkala T, Bonet JA, Colinas C, Fischer CR, Martínez de Aragón J (2009) Effect of the inclusion of mushroom values on the optimal management of even-aged pine stands of Catalonia. For Sci 55:503–511Google Scholar
  21. Prokofieva I, Mavsar R, Gorriz E (2013) ¿Quién debe pagar por mejorar la provisión de bienes y servicios forestales? In: SECF (ed) 6º Congreso Forestal Español. Montes, Servicios y Desarrollo Rural, p 11Google Scholar
  22. Quartuch MR, Beckley TM (2013) Landowners perception of their moral and ethical stewardship responsibilities in NB Canada. Small-scale For 12:437–460. doi: 10.1007/s11842-012-9222-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Quartuch MR, Beckley TM (2014) Carrots and sticks: new Brunswick and Maine forest landowner perceptions toward incentives and regulations. Environ Manag 53:202–218. doi: 10.1007/s00267-013-0200-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rekola M (1998) The problem of NWFP ownership: property rights analysis. In: Gyde Lund H, Pajari B, Korhonen M (eds) Sustainable development of non-wood goods and benefits from boreal and cold temperate forests. EFI proceedings 23, Finland, pp 197–201Google Scholar
  25. Shumsky S, Hickey GM, Johns T, Pelletier B, Galaty J (2014) Institutional factors affecting wild edible plant (WEP) harvest and consumption in semi-arid Kenya. Land use policy 38:48–69. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.10.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Simoncic T, Matijasic D, Boglio D, Gorriz E et al (2013) Green book on payments for environmental services from Mediterranean forests. SylvaMED, LjublianaGoogle Scholar
  27. Strauss A, Corbin JM (1990) Basics of qualitative research: grounded theory procedures and techniques. Sage, Newbury ParkGoogle Scholar
  28. Wiersum KF, Ingram VJ, Ros-Tonen MAF (2013) Governing access to resources and markets in non-timber forest product chains. For Trees Livelihoods 23:6–18. doi: 10.1080/14728028.2013.868676 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Górriz-Mifsud
    • 1
    • 2
  • Glòria Domínguez-Torres
    • 3
  • Irina Prokofieva
    • 1
  1. 1.Forest Economics DepartmentForest Sciences Center of Catalonia (CTFC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.European Forest Institute - Mediterranean Regional Office (EFIMED)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Universitat de LleidaLleidaSpain

Personalised recommendations