Groups Sue To Keep E-Bikes Off National Park Trails

Dec 10, 2019

This summer, the National Park Service came out with a policy allowing electric bicycles in the same places as traditional bikes. A new federal lawsuit is challenging that rule.

Last week, the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, led a coalition of conservation groups in alleging that the NPS's e-bike policy violates several federal laws and should be reversed.

"Just about every way they could done this improperly, they did. And that's the basis of the suit," said PEER's Jeff Ruch.

Specifically, the suit says NPS broke the law when it adopted a new policy without preparing an environmental assessment or gathering public comment.

In an emailed statement, Rob Wallace, the Interior Department's assistant secretary for fish, and wildlife and parks, said, "We strongly disagree with the premise of PEER's lawsuit and will continue to work with park superintendents to implement our common sense e-bikes policy."

The policy was a response to an order signed in August by Secretary Bernhardt, which required the park service to regulate e-bikes the same way as human-powered bikes.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Maggie Mullen, at mmullen5@uwyo.edu.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.