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14 January 2020

Update to DOI September 2019 Ruling: Where Does Each DOI Bureau Stand?

In September 2020, the Department of Interior (DOI) announced that each major land management agency under their jurisdiction must create a clear and consistent policy to ident, and expand, access to e-bikes. Here’s an update on each bureaus decision.

1)  The National Park Service (NPS)

 “On August 30, 2019, the NPS announced a new electric bike policy that supports Secretary’s Order 3376... This new policy will enable visitors to use e-bikes, low speed electric bicycles with power assistance, in the same manner as traditional bicycles, allowing them on park roads, paved or hardened trails, areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use and administrative roads where traditional bikes are allowed. The operator of an e-bike may only use the motor to assist pedal propulsion. The motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling…” To read a complete review of the NPS e-bike policy, please visit their site and announcement here

2) The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

 “During the time necessary to revise the BLM regulations in accordance with the Secretarial Order , e-bikes may be allowed on trails limited to bicycles and non-motorized travel ONLY IF a BLM Manager issues a written decision authorizing e-bike use in accordance with applicable laws and regulations….BLM-managed public lands offer many opportunities for riding e-bikes, including any area or trail where OHVs are currently allowed.” To learn more, please visit the BLM website here .

3) The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

 “In Fall 2019 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a new policy permitting the use of electric bicycles on select national wildlife refuges, thereby expanding recreational opportunities for visitors, including people with physical limitations…Under the polivy, e-bike use will be permitted at any refuge where biking is consistent with the site’s statutory purpose. The policy will permit visitors to use low-speed e-bikes on refuge roads, trails and other areas where traditional bikes are allowed.” Check with the refuge you’re visiting for details about where e-bikes may be ridden. To learn more about the FWS policy, please visit their e-bike announcement here .

4) The Bureau of Reclamation (USBR)

 “The Bureau of Reclamation announced guidance to implement Secretary’s Order 3376, Increasing Recreational Opportunities through the use of Electric Bicycles… The guidance will enable visitors to use these bicycles with a small electric motor (less than 1 horsepower) power assist in the same manner as traditional bicycles. The operator of an e-bike may only use the small electric motor to assist pedal propulsion…Bureau of Reclamation will permit visitors to use low-speed e-bikes on Reclamation roads, trails and designated areas where traditional bikes are allowed. Similar to traditional Bicycles, e-bikes are not allowed in designated wilderness areas and may not be appropriate for back-country trails.” To read a full review of the USBR statement, please visit their site here .