2019 has been a big year for federal e-bike policy announcements. Use this page as a resource to track emerging policies, get questions answered and find great routes to ride your e-bike. Still have questions? Contact PeopleForBikes’ Regulatory and Policy Analyst, Ashley Seaward ([email protected]).

 

Federal Policy Announcements

Department of Interior (DOI)

  • Policy Documents:
  • Policy Summary:
    • Aug. 29, 2019 – Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt ordered the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service to establish interim policies, consistent with existing regulations, within 30 days that guide the use of electric bicycles (E-Bikes) on public lands. The departments were encouraged to adopt a policy that allows Class 1 , 2 and 3 E-Bike to be ridden where traditional bicycles are allowed
    • Over the longer term, each agency will issue revised regulations governing the use of E-Bikes. Those rulemaking processes will be subject to public comment.
  • Additional Resources:

National Park Service (NPS)

  • Policy Documents:
  • Policy Summary:
    • Aug. 30, 2019 – The NPS announced that e-bikes may be used 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. E-bikes are not allowed in wilderness areas and individuals may not operate an E-Bike where the motor can be used to propel the rider without pedaling, except in locations that are open to motor vehicle traffic.
    • NPS Superintendents had 30 days following the agency’s announcement to either amend their Compendium to include an E-Bike policy that considers the safety, resource protection and local requirements of their community, or to adopt the E-Bike policy as stated in the National Park Service’s announcement.
    • We encourage E-Bike riders to check with their local national park before riding to ensure that no restrictions have been imposed.
  • Additional Resources:

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

  • Policy Documents:
  • Policy Summary:
    • Oct. 17, 2019 – The FWS has permitted Class 1, 2, and 3 electric bicycles to be used in areas where traditional bicycles are allowed. Bicycles must be operated in pedal-assist mode and they will not be considered “off-road vehicles” or “motor vehicles.” E-bikes are prohibited where bicycles are prohibited.
    • Individual wildlife refuges or FWS lands may have additional restrictions on E-Bike use. Local refuge managers must ensure that E-Bike access is compatible with the purposes of that unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and may restrict E-Bike access if it is incompatible or inconsistent with those purposes. In addition, local refuge managers may restrict E-Bike access if the manager determines that there is a risk to public safety. The public must be notified of any restrictions.
    • We encourage E-Bike riders to check with their local wildlife refuge before riding to ensure that no restrictions have been imposed.
  • Additional Resources:

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

  • Policy Documents:
  • Policy Summary:
    • Oct. 22, 2019 – The BLM will be implementing Secretarial Order 3376 in concert with local land managers. BLM District or Field Managers have been instructed to authorize the use of Class 1, 2, and 3 electric bicycles where other types of bicycles are allowed. However, District and Field Managers may restrict electric bicycle access based on local conditions, which include natural and cultural resources, potential user conflicts, and the laws, regulations, and policies of adjacent jurisdictions regarding E-Bike use.
    • Additional actions by local land managers are required before E-Bikes may be ridden on non-motorized trails. The BLM’s electric bicycle FAQ document instructs users that “e-bikes should not be used on a trail or road that is currently limited to non-OHV or non-motorized use only, unless a BLM District or Field Manager issues a decision authorizing their use in accordance with applicable law.”
    • E-Bike riders should consult their local BLM office before their ride to confirm whether a trail is open to electric bicycles.
  • Additional Resources:

Bureau of Reclamation (BOR)

  • Policy Documents:
  • Policy Summary:
    • Oct. 22, 2019 – The BOR has asked its Regional Directors to designate areas that are open to electric bicycles. Under BOR’s interim policy, e-bikes will continue to be considered “off-road vehicles” as defined in 43 C.F.R. 420.5(a). Utilizing existing BOR procedures that apply to “off-road vehicles,” BOR’s Regional Directors will examine areas where traditional bicycles are already allowed and then designate areas as open to e-bikes if that use is appropriate. Regional Directors may restrict E-Bike use after taking into account public health and safety, natural and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives consistent with laws that apply to those issues.
    • BOR is requesting that E-Bike riders contact their nearest local office in order to determine if a specific location or trail has been opened to electric bicycle use.
  • Additional Resources:

 

Department of Agriculture

Forest Service

 

National E-Bike Policy Information

Blog Posts

Press Releases

Great E-Bike Rides

  • Denali National Park and Preserve, AK – Denali National Park and Preserve – Denali Park Road
  • Monticello, GA – Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge – Givens Field Road
  • Medicine Park, OK – Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge –  Scott Fire Road
  • Denver, CO – Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge – Perimeter Trail
  • Virginia Beach, VA – Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge – East Dike Trail