Department of Interior Agencies Issue Interim E-bike Policies
By: Ashley Seaward, deputy director of state + local policy
On Oct. 22, The U.S. 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 e-bike policies.
The NPS was the first agency to announce its interim e-bike policy on Aug. 30, while the remaining management agencies (BLM, BOR and FWS) released their e-bike interim policies in October. Summaries of each land management agency’s policy are provided below:
Park Superintendents must revise their Compendiums to either allow Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes to be used wherever traditional bikes are allowed, or, to propose an e-bike policy that is tailored to the safety, resource protection and local requirements of their community.
Can I ride my e-bike? Check with your local national park before riding.
Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes are allowed wherever traditional bikes are allowed but must be operated in pedal-assist mode only (no throttle). E-bikes are not permitted where traditional bicycles are prohibited.
Can I ride my e-bike? Yes, unless otherwise stated by your local FWS Wildlife Refuge Manager. We suggest verifying that no local restrictions have been imposed before riding.
E-bikes 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 e-bikes 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 e-bike use when making these determinations.
Can I ride my e-bike on trails or roads designated as non-motorized? Not yet, contact your local BLM Field Manager and encourage them to allow E-Bikes.
Can I ride my e-bike on trails or roads open to off-road or motorized vehicles? Yes.
Regional Directors will examine areas where traditional bicycles are already allowed and then designate areas as open to e-bikes after taking into consideration public health safety, nature and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.
Can I ride my e-bike? Not yet, contact your local BOR office and encourage them to allow E-Bike.
These policy announcements are a big step for improved e-bike 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 firstname.lastname@example.org