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Forest Service takes the lead in e-bike access

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Forest Service takes the lead in e-bike access

When the U.S. Forest Service updated its policy on e-bikes last month, the agency boasted that it now leads the way in allowing riders of electrical bicycles on 60,000 miles of trails.To get more news about volt electric bike, you can visit official website.

By comparison, the agency said, that’s more than three times the amount allowed by either the National Park Service or Bureau of Land Management.The Forest Service said it now allows the increasingly popular e-bikes on 38 percent of its trails. And the agency said its new policy would provide the guidance for expanding the use of e-bikes on even more trails.To get more news about how much does an electric bike cost, you can visit official website.
“National forests and grasslands are a place for all people to recreate, relax and refresh,” Forest Service Chief Randy Moore said on March 31, when the agency rolled out its new policy.To get more news about bluetooth bike speaker, you can visit official website.

While the Forest Service is setting the pace for e-bike access, the agency is following the lead of both NPS and BLM in letting local officials decide exactly where they can be used.

And while the issue has stirred plenty of controversy in recent years, officials at the public land agencies defend the use of e-bikes, saying they’ve made it much easier for older and disabled Americans to gain access to public trails.

“Where appropriate, electric bikes are a great resource to enhance accessibility for people who may not be able to use traditional bicycles and expanding opportunities for people to recreate and travel within the park system,” said Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, the NPS chief of public affairs.

But she noted that individual park superintendents still “retain the right to limit, restrict or impose conditions on e-bike use to ensure visitor safety and resource protection.”

Backers of e-bikes say electric bicycles have also provided a needed boost to the economy. In testimony to the Forest Service, the PeopleForBikes Coalition, the national trade association for bicycle manufacturers and distributors, said the U.S. bicycle industry results in $88 billion in economic activity each year, supporting more than 780,000 jobs.

The battle over e-bikes dates back to August 2019, when then-Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order requiring NPS and other Interior agencies, including BLM, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation, to open nonmotorized trails to e-bikes (Greenwire, Aug. 30, 2019).

Bernhardt’s order forced the agencies to regulate electric bicycles the same way as regular bikes. “E-bikes shall be allowed where other types of bicycles are allowed; and E-bikes shall not be allowed where other types of bicycles are prohibited,” it said.

The order drew support from then-NPS acting Director P. Daniel Smith, who said it would help people who might not otherwise be able to ride bikes, “especially at high altitudes or in hilly or strenuous terrain.”

But many green groups were quick to complain, accusing both Bernhardt and Smith of advancing the idea with no public input and saying it would bring more noise and motors to places where people often go in search of quiet.

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