Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative Facebook Facebook Blog






Sometimes timber harvesting operations run into issues with unauthorized local ordinances. Pennsylvania Law recognizes and protects forestry as a beneficial land use. On July 6, 2005, Act 38 also known as "ACRE" (Agriculture, Communities and Rural Environment) went into effect to ensure that ordinances adopted by local governments to regulate normal agricultural operations (which includes forestry and timber harvesting) are not in violation of state law. Through ACRE, an owner or operator may request that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) review a local ordinance that the owner or operator believes to be unauthorized. If the OAG believes that the ordinance violates ACRE, the OAG and the local government work together to bring the ordinance into compliance with state law. If a resolution cannot be reached, the OAG has the option of filing a lawsuit in the Commonwealth Court.

                [ Back to Top ]  


Act 84 of 2016 amended Article II of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 to exclude from tax the purchase or use of tangible personal property or taxable services predominantly used directly in timbering operations, effective July 1, 2017. Click on the information notice below to review the property or services that are considered to be directly used in timbering operations and therefore excluded from Sales and Use Tax.

PA Department of Revenue Information Notice

                [ Back to Top 



More than 9,000 miles of PennDOT-managed roads are in poor condition. Many of Pennsylvania’s older secondary and rural roads were not designed to support the weight they presently carry, especially with the recent trucking boom resulting from the unconventional oil and gas (UOG) industry. To prevent damage, PennDOT has posting and bonding policies that require haulers to be financially responsible for excess maintenance on the roads they use.

This can be problematic for Pennsylvania's logging industry when co-bonding roads already bonded by an UOG industry whose trucking impacts are much greater. Pennsylvania Act 13 of 2012 created a policy that exempts economically distressed (at risk) industries and de minimis haulers (local/infrequent haulers not likely to damage roadways) in excess of posted weight limits from co-bonding roadways already bonded by a UOG industry by issuing Letters of Local Determination (LoLD). Act 91 of 2022 exends this program through 2028. The web resources below provide additional information.

PennDOT Posted and Bonded Roadway Program

The Web-based map viewer below provides current information on the posted and bonded state routes in Pennsylvania. Users can find every posted road in the state to see roadway segments’ weight limits and review which haulers and industries bond these roadways. Haulers can use this information to determine whether they qualify for self-certification or are required to complete the Letter of Local Determination application.

PennDOT Posted and Bonded Web Viewer

             [ Back to Top  

The commercial use of DCNR Bureau of Forestry and Bureau of State Parks roads requires obtaining a Road Use Agreement from DCNR. An example of commercial use is the hauling of timber or other forest products. As part of the approved Road Use Agreement, bonding is required and a fee schedule is followed. Fees and bonding are in place to guarantee the condition of these roads is not compromised by any commercial activity. The fee schedule offers variable rates for such things as gross weight (light vs. heavy hauling), length of the commercial activity, and mileage traveled on the road or roads being used. Bonding or security required is based on road conditions prior to the commercial activity, such as surface material, and the presence of bridges or culvert crossings. Anyone planning on conducting a commercial activity that would entail the use of DCNR roads should contact the local Forest District Office or State Park Office for more information and to obtain an agreement. Requests should be made with plenty of time prior to commencing any commercial activity as some time is involved in preparing and processing a DCNR Road Use Agreement.
               [ Back to Top 



Pennsylvania has thousands of structurally deficient bridges - more than most other states in the nation. In August of 2013 PennDOT announced that it would place new restrictions on some 1,000 structurally deficient bridges across the state in an effort to extend their usage life. The required detour around many of these bridges in rural areas is substantial.

PennDOT lists of Posted Bridges

             [ Back to Top ]   


  • Coming Soon
             [ Back to Top  



On September 22, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, confirmed the presence of spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, (WHITE)) in Berks County, Pennsylvania — the first detection of this non-native species in the United States. In the U.S., spotted lanternfly has the potential to greatly impact the viticulture (grape), tree fruit, plant nursery and timber industries. On November 1, 2014, after determining that the potential impact to Pennsylvania's agricultural economy and natural resources was great, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine with the intent to restrict the movement of spotted lanternfly.

Every landowner, logger, forester, and primary and secondary mill should be extremely vigilant to make sure that they, their work and/or facility does not move spotted lanternfly. Anyone operating within or near the quarantine are required to take extreme measures to assure they are not moving egg masses or various life stages of spotted lanternfly. Refer to best practices below. Detection is vital to the effective control of this pest and everyone should learn to identify the seasonal life stages of spotted lanternfly.

Spotted Lanternfly Permit Training for Businesses: Pennsylvania - The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has a permitting system for businesses, municipalities, state and federal agencies, and other organizations working within the quarantine zone. Training and testing are now required in order to receive a permit.
                [ Back to Top  


Indiana Bats

In Pennsylvania, the Indiana bat is listed as endangered and protected under the state Game and Wildlife Code. It also is a “priority species” in the state’s Wildlife Action Plan. Nationally, it has been listed as an endangered species since March 1967. As a listed species, Indiana bat habitat has specific regulations designed to protect the species and prevent takings.

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) and Cave Dwelling Bats

Cave dwelling bats across the eastern United States are being impacted by white-nose syndrome. WNS was first discovered in New York in 2006 and was found in PA in 2008. The fungus has quickly spread since then causing an ecological crisis. The affliction disturbs the bats during hibernation, causing them to become active in winter, where they die of elements and starvation.

Listing of PA Cave Dwelling Bats

The PA Game Commission (PGC) published notice in August 2012, seeking input on listing three bat species as endangered in the state. The PGC notice specifically included notice of restrictions on timber harvesting and other tree removals, as part of the proposed bat protection efforts. With negative feedback, the PGC decided in October 2012 that it would not immediately proceed with draft regulatory changes and listing of the three species. It should be noted that there is no research to suggest that forestry and timbering activities are linked to white nose syndrome (WNS) and habitat is not a limiting factor with the recent declines in populations. Since that time the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) took up consideration of listing the northern long-eared bat (NLEB) specifically as a federally threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). On May 4th, 2015 the USFWS listed the NLEB as threatened with an interim 4(d) rule that limits the impact of the listing on timber harvesting. The final 4(d) rule was published on January 14, 2016. On January 29, the state Board of Game Commissioners gave final approval to a measure that updates the state’s list of threatened and endangered species, providing three cave bat species additional protection by reclassifying them as state endangered species. On March 23, 2022 the USFWS proposed to reclassify the NLEB as Endangered. An action that took place on November 29,2022. On September 13, 2022 the USFWS proposed listing the tricolored bat as endangered under the ESA, primarily due to WNS.



             [ Back to Top  

The material and resource links provided on this site are for informational use only and should not be construed as legal advice. Use this information at your own risk, and always be sure to consult with a expert before making legal decisions.

Viewing Portable Document Format (PDF) publications: To view the PDF documents on this page you will need to have Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. The software is available as a free download from the Adobe website.

Links verified: Jan. 2023
Please alert the webmaster of any defective links

SFI State Implementation CommitteeReport Inconsistent Practices
©2023 Pennsylvania SFI® Implementation Committee
Site by: J.E.G. Design, Inc.
PA SFI® • 211 Barrington Lane • Bellefonte, PA 16823
TOLL FREE: 888.734.9366 • Phone: 814.355.1010 • Fax: 814.355.1022 • Email