Where Can I Ride My Ebike On Department Of Interior Lands?

PeopleForBikes answers the question in a new policy update.

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Agencies under the DOI have taken different tacks on addressing ebike access.PeopleForBikes

Editor’s note: PeopleForBikes posted this policy update on its website Friday, November 8. Cycle Volta is republishing it here with the advocacy group’s full permission, editing it only for house style and to include links to additional information. It’s our hope that this policy update provides clarity about the current state—and future outlook—of ebike access on lands managed the US Department of Interior.

On October 22, the US Department of Interior issued a press release regarding Secretarial Order 3376. The statement provided an update on the order’s directive for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Park Service (NPS) to establish interim ebike policies.

The NPS was the first agency to announce its interim ebike policy on August 30, while the remaining management agencies (BLM, BOR, and FWS) released their ebike interim policies in October. Summaries of each land management agency’s policy are provided below:

NPS

Park superintendents must revise their Compendiums to either allow Class 1, 2, and 3 ebikes to be used wherever traditional bikes are allowed, or, to propose an ebike policy that is tailored to the safety, resource protection, and local requirements of their community.

Can I ride my ebike? Check with your local national park before riding.

FWS

Class 1, 2, and 3 ebikes are allowed wherever traditional bikes are allowed but must be operated in pedal-assist mode only (no throttle). Ebikes are not permitted where traditional bicycles are prohibited.

Can I ride my ebike? Yes, unless otherwise stated by your local FWS wildlife refuge manager. We suggest verifying that no local restrictions have been imposed before riding.

BLM

Ebikes are already permitted in areas that are open to off-road vehicles or motor vehicles. Individual district or field managers will be taking additional steps to allow the use of ebikes where traditional bicycles are allowed in non-motorized areas. Local land managers will be taking into account local conditions such as natural and cultural resources, potential user conflicts, and the laws, regulations, and policies of adjacent jurisdictions regarding ebike use when making these determinations.

Can I ride my ebike on trails or roads designated as non-motorized? Not yet. Contact your local BLM field manager and encourage them to allow ebikes.

Can I ride my ebike on trails or roads open to off-road or motorized vehicles? Yes

BOR

Regional directors will examine areas where traditional bicycles are already allowed and then designate areas as open to ebikes after taking into consideration public health safety, nature, and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.

Can I ride my ebike? Not yet. Contact your local BOR office and encourage them to allow ebikes.

These policy announcements are a big step for improved ebike access across the country. We will continue to track these ongoing policy decisions and provide updates when needed. Check out this spreadsheet for specific land management decisions in your area and our website for further explanation of each policy announcement. Still have questions? Contact Ashley at ashley@peopleforbikes.org.

About PeopleForBikes

Every day, two dozen PeopleForBikes staffers go to work at our Colorado headquarters, in the field, and in Washington, D.C. Our team focuses on making every bike ride safer, easier to access, and more fun. We work for you, your family, your neighbors, your business, and your community. We rely on our members, partners, and the 1.3 million Americans—including you!—who have become PeopleForBikes supporters and advocates.

Launched in 1999 as Bikes Belong, PeopleForBikes includes both an industry coalition of bicycling suppliers and retailers, as well as a charitable foundation. Our foundation is where we house our major programs and engage individual members, affiliate organizations, and corporate sponsors.

Over the years, we have spent more than $30 million to make bicycling better. We’ve invested $2.1 million in community bicycling projects and leveraged more than $654 million in federal, state, and private funding. We have contributed millions to national groups and programs like the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the League of American Bicyclists, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, ensuring safer places to ride for both children and adults.