Home Hiking National Trail and Conservation Groups Blast New DOI E-Bike Order

National Trail and Conservation Groups Blast New DOI E-Bike Order

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Groups Fear Order Paves Way for Motorization of America’s National Trails, Parks and Public Lands

Silver Spring, MD—Aug. 30, 2019— National path advocates and conservation organizations blasted the Department of Interior at this time for Secretary Bernhardt’s new order that might open non-motorized trails to all lessons of motorized e-bikes (electrical motorized bicycles). Trail advocates and conservation teams level out that the order undermines company rules and administration guidelines, fails to think about impacts to hikers, mountain bikers, horse riders and different recreationists, and might sign the start of the tip for non-motorized backcountry trails, all whereas not together with the general public within the decision-making course of.

“The
Interior Department is speeding steerage on a use they haven’t correctly
evaluated for potential impacts to park pure and cultural sources,
guests or wildlife. Sadly, this new coverage was created behind closed doorways
and with no public involvement,” mentioned Kristen Brengel, Senior Vice
President on the National Parks Conservation Association
. “E-bikes
have a spot on nationwide parks’ roads and motorized trails. But this
announcement disregards well-established insurance policies for a way guests can
enjoyably and safely expertise the backcountry in nationwide parks. For
generations we’ve agreed that there are some locations so particular that they need to
be protected for guests to take pleasure in away from the hustle and bustle of on a regular basis
life. This new coverage carelessly ignores these longstanding protections for
backcountry areas.”

Earlier this summer season a whole bunch of path advocates and conservation
teams despatched a joint
letter
to federal land administration officers opposing any
effort to permit e-bikes on non-motorized trails.  The letter famous that non-motorized trails have been created to make sure that the general public might discover
leisure path alternatives free from the ever-growing motorization. It
identified that thousands and thousands of public land customers together with hikers, backpackers,
hunters, horse packers, climbers, mountain bikers and many extra, worth
non-motorized trails for recreation. Opening non-motorized trails to motorized
e-bikes would ceaselessly change the backcountry expertise for a lot of customers.

“What has occurred to the
administration of our public lands?” asked Darrell Wallace, Chairman of the Back
Country Horsemen of America
. “We’ve labored for many years to interact with these
companies, and different person teams, as companions to be able to construct and preserve a
great system of protected trails all through the nation’s public lands. This
abrupt change in long-standing coverage got here from under the radar—they didn’t
hassle to ask anybody’s opinion. What does this say to the 1000’s of
volunteers who’ve performed by the principles through the years? That the producers
of those motorized machines are extra vital than the residents who use and
preserve these trails, and the security points that accompany multi-use trails?”

Trail advocates and
conservation teams are fast to level out that e-bikes needs to be welcomed on
public lands however not in all places and not on each path. Conservationist and
path advocates are clear that e-bikes are motorized automobiles and needs to be
managed as such. They level out that the present motorized path system
supplies loads of alternative for e-bikes use with tens of 1000’s of miles
of trails on public lands, together with many iconic trails, at the moment open to
their use. 

“The outdoor are for
everybody, whether or not having fun with human powered recreation or using one thing with a
motor. But sweeping modifications to present e-bike coverage can’t be made
with out public enter from all impacted person teams. Permitting e-bike use on
trails which have been thoughtfully and particularly designated as non-motorized
raises issues of safety and path sustainability that have to be thought of,”
mentioned Tyler Ray, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the American Hiking
Society
. “Making this transformation behind closed doorways undermines the
long-standing collaborative relationships between path customers and federal
companies.”

“The
Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is designated for hikers and horseback
riders and goes via 48 wilderness areas. While the path enjoys nice
protections, threats to these quiet, non-mechanized types of recreation are
ever present. Some persons are working laborious to open the PCT and all wilderness
areas to mountain bikes. So far, Congress and federal land managers have
rightly resisted these makes an attempt,” mentioned Mark Larabee, Associate Director of
The Pacific Crest Trail Association

“The Pacific Crest Trail Association shouldn’t be against mountain bikes or
e-bikes, and we imagine they need to have their place on public land. But we
imagine reclassifying battery-powered bikes as non-motorized not solely could be
illogical, it could displace mountain bikes with out motors. More importantly,
it could be a paradigm shift in in any other case sound authorities coverage that might
have an effect on trails and wilderness areas throughout the nation.”  

“Let’s be clear e-bikes are motorized
automobiles,” mentioned Michael Carroll, Senior Director of the People Outdoors
Program at The Wilderness Society
.  “Secretary
Bernhardt’s coverage change paves the way in which for the whole motorization of
America’s remaining wild locations.  The
Trump Administration has made it a normal apply to create new insurance policies and
administration guidelines with business behind closed doorways and that is extra of the
identical. This new coverage will ceaselessly change the expertise for backcountry path
customers.  Families which have sought out
non-motorize areas to hunt, fish, hike, camp and merely get away from the noise
and chaos of every day life will now have their particular get-away spots opened as much as
motors.”

###

Contact:

Tyler
Ray, American Hiking Society, [email protected], 301-565-6704 (x705)

Randy
Rasmussen, Back Country Horsemen of America, [email protected], 541-602-0713

Angela
Gonzales, National Parks Conservation Association, [email protected], 202-878-0359

Mark
Larabee, Pacific Crest Trail Association, [email protected], 503-880-5987

Michael
Carroll, The Wilderness Society, [email protected], 970-9469043

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