USA -(AmmoLand.com)- To increase recreational use on public lands for all Americans, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to adopt regulations on the use of electric bicycles (otherwise known as “e-bikes”) in units of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
“The proposed e-bike rule will open new opportunities to the millions of Americans who visit national wildlife refuges each year,” said Service Director Aurelia Skipwith. “If approved, the rule will make it easier for visitors to explore these amazing places, with a bit of added assistance, if they need it.”
This proposed rule supports Secretary’s Order 3366 to increase recreational opportunities on public lands and Secretary’s Order 3376 directing the Department of the Interior bureaus to obtain public input on e-bike use.
The rule closely follows both Secretary’s Orders and the Service’s e-bike policy in Director’s Order 222, signed on October 17, 2019. It would allow refuge managers to consider the use of e-bikes on any refuge roads and trails where traditional bicycle use is allowed, provided it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose and the refuge manager determines it to be a compatible use.
The proposed rule defines permitted e-bikes as two- or three-wheeled vehicles with fully operable pedals and a small electric motor (1 horsepower or less). An e-bike operator may use the motor only to assist pedal propulsion. The motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling except in locations open to public motor vehicle traffic.
A majority of states have adopted e-bike policies, most following model legislation that allows for three classes of e-bikes to have access to bicycle trails.
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