PFPA Legislative and Political Services

It is a core mission of PFPA to represent and promote the interests of its membership before legislators and other government officials on the state level. PFPA’s governmental affairs program includes the following resources and services.

Full Time Governmental Affairs Staff:

The Association’s Executive Director is a registered lobbyist who interacts regularly with the Pennsylvania General Assembly and state agencies such as the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Agriculture.

“The Ticker”:

“The Ticker” is a weekly e-mail/fax that provides the membership with legislative and regulatory updates and other timely information on political happenings in Harrisburg that impact the forest products industry. It is also a key tool to initiate PFPA’s grassroots advocacy efforts.

Coalitions and Networks:

PFPA participates in coalitions and partnerships with other organizations on issues of common concern, thereby giving both the industry and the association increased visibility in Harrisburg.

Member Service and Support:

PFPA staff addresses regulatory questions, identifies resources and provides direct assistance to help members deal with state agencies and address conflicts with local governments involving timber harvesting ordinances and local road posting practices. Dozens of members utilize this support each year.

Governmental Information “Hotline”:

The PFPA office maintains a toll-free telephone information line for members to utilize regarding questions about state laws and regulations or information concerning the strategy for contacting appropriate state agencies. The number is 800-232-4562.


During each legislative session, TimberPAC intends to provide financial support to dozens state legislators, providing assistance to lawmakers who support a sustainable and reliable forest products supply chain while enhancing PFPA's visibility among state policymakers.

Committee and Working Group Representation:

PFPA’s efforts to develop partnerships with other stakeholders are demonstrated by its participation on numerous key policy and advisory committees. PFPA represents industry on more than a dozen councils, committees and organizations, including the following list. PFPA’s presence in these and similar groups ensures that the best interests of the forest products industry are represented in the development and deliberation of public policy in Harrisburg.

Participation in Federal Advocacy Groups:

While PFPA’s focus is state-level promotion and advocacy, we also participate and work closely with a number of national groups that work on the industry’s behalf at the federal level. Among the groups that PFPA works with as a key stakeholder and advisor are the following:

Key PFPA Legislative
and Regulatory Accomplishments

A History

Protecting Sawmills
PFPA supported the enactment of legislation that declared sawmills and their operations as “normal agricultural equipment and activities” which are consequently protected from nuisance suits and ordinances under certain circumstances.
Reducing Red Tape
PFPA negotiated modifications to General Permit 7 (Permanent Road Crossings) and General Permit 8 (Temporary Road Crossings), which enable the industry to cross wetlands and streams without an extensive permitting process.
Protecting the Right to Practice Forestry
PFPA obtained language in the rewriting of the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) to clarify and strengthen the existing “right to practice forestry.” The measure prevents municipalities from prohibiting forestry in any actions taken to preserve or conserve open space or other natural resources and establishes forestry as a permitted use throughout the state.
Timber Trespass Act
PFPA helped develop reasonable revisions to the Timber Trespass Act enacted in 2001.
Protecting Landowners' Rights to Sustainably Manage Land with Easements
PFPA won changes to legislation establishing uniform law governing the definition and legal standing of conservation and preservation easements to expressly recognize that private landowners may enter into easements that continue to preserve their rights to manage and use natural resources on their property.
Growing Greener
PFPA worked to amend a major piece of environmental legislation to prevent recipients of “Growing Greener” grant funds from purchasing land and, directly or indirectly, prohibiting or restricting commercial timber production.
Passage of Legislation
PFPA secured passage of legislation to improve local government road posting and bonding practices and penalize local governments that deviate from PennDOT’s road posting and bonding regulations.
Long-term Forestry Research
In partnership with the Senate and House members of the Joint Legislative Conservation Committees’ Forestry Task Force, PFPA secured passage of legislation that will direct up to five percent of the Bureau of Forestry’s Annual Timber sale receipts toward long-term forestry research activities.
Recognizes Wood as Alternative Energy
PFPA ensured that Pennsylvania’s alternative energy portfolio standard law recognizes the use of wood mill residuals and low-grade timber for electric generation.
PFPA secured enactment of revisions to Pennsylvania’s Clean and Green Program, which ensure that forest landowners enrolled in the program are allowed to lease their land for hunting and other non-motorized recreation without risk of losing their preferential tax assessment or being penalized with rollback taxes.
PFPA has worked with DEP to revise and promote voluntary BMP’s as a reasonable and effective alternative to additional regulation of timber harvesting activities.
In 2005, PFPA supported legislation that became the ACRE law and provides a more streamlined adjudication process for legal disputes between farmers and townships over the legality of local ordinances seeking to regulate agricultural operations. The statute’s definition of normal agricultural operations includes forestry and timber harvesting.
PFPA participated in a successful legislative effort that amended the state Public School Code to expand green building subsidies in a way which allows for greater utilization of wood.
At the request of PFPA, PennDOT created an annual permit for the transport of oversized forestry equipment.
PFPA was instrumental in winning enactment of a law tripling the state Payment in-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) on state forest, park and gamelands that are made to local governments. This PILT increase provides additional revenue to some of the state’s most rural communities and helps ease the pressure on property taxes in these communities.
Over the years, PFPA has successfully defeated or blocked a variety of proposals that would create a state environmental impact statement and review process for state land management activities, similar to the bureaucratic and litigious federal NEPA process.
PFPA helped win passage of legislation that defined the crime of eco-terror and set enhanced penalties for those convicted of committing an act of eco-terrorism. PFPA has successfully fought against proposals to increase taxes and fees on Pennsylvania hardwood companies and other manufacturing. PFPA has been able to prevent attempts to unduly increase penalties in the state’s timber theft law.
PFPA worked with the Bureau of Forestry to revise and streamline its performance bond requirements on State Forest Timber Sales. The change, implemented in 2007, reduced the amount of bonds required by industry by about $2 million annually. PFPA has successfully fought against proposals to increase taxes and fees on Pennsylvania hardwood companies and other manufacturing. PFPA has been able to prevent attempts to unduly increase penalties in the state’s timber theft law.
PFPA supported amendments to previously enacted energy legislation that made electricity produced from wood manufacturing and paper mill waste more valuable in the electricity marketplace. We helped secure a law that expands an existing state economic development loan guarantee program to farm and forest product companies that access loans from farm credit institutions.
PFPA supported amendments to previously enacted energy legislation that made electricity produced from wood manufacturing and paper mill waste more valuable in the electricity marketplace.
PFPA successfully secured a provision that would address the rising fees for E&S plan reviews charged by some county conservation districts. The new law gives the State Conservation Board the authority to review fees to ensure that they are reasonable in relation to the scope of service.

2024 Legislative Agenda

2023-24 Budget Request: Build Partner Capacity and Grow Sustainable Jobs

PFPA requests $670,000 to enable continued support for successful initiatives of the Hardwoods Development Council (HDC) and the regional Hardwood Utilization Groups (HUGs) while enabling investment in proven training that enhances logger safety and improves environmental outcomes.


The Hardwood Research and Promotion line item was funded at a level of $474,000 in the enacted 2022-23 budget proposal.


Solutions in Transportation

PFPA supports commonsense solutions that enhance the reliability, affordability and accessibility of PA’s transportation infrastructure as the lifeblood of the forest products supply chain.


Senate Bill 1171 was signed into law as Act 91 of 2022 on July 11, 2022. This bill contained PFPA’s requested extension to the Letters of Local Determination program as well as a provision enabling flexibility in equipment used in heavy hauling permits for pulpwood and chips.


Rebuilding the Workers’ Comp Marketplace

Workers’ Compensation Insurance provides important protection for workers and their families. PFPA seeks solutions that improve the affordability and availability of coverage to protect loggers.


 PFPA is working with loggers, the insurance industry and agency partners to advance a multifaceted effort to improve safety, to lower rates and expanded availability.


Forest Products: the World’s Greenest Building Material

PFPA seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of forest management and working forests. Timber harvests improve habitat and forest health and provide building materials that store carbon while making room for new growth that accelerates sequestration.


An Industry Looking to Hire

PFPA members in all sectors are looking to grow their workforce. While labor shortages are impacting all sectors of the economy, the forest products industry is proactively seeking its next generation of workers.


About Donations to TimberPAC

TimberPAC is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State. State law prohibits TimberPAC from accepting cash or corporate contributions. Online donations or Personal checks only. Contributions to TimberPAC are not tax deductible. For more information about TimberPAC, contact PFPA at (717) 901-0420.