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Bill allowing bike access to federal Wilderness areas once again submitted

Published June 18, 2024

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Utah Sen. Mike Lee once again has introduced legislation to restore bike access to federal Wilderness areas. This is the fourth time a bill advocating for bike access — excluding e-bikes — in federal Wilderness areas has been submitted, the last in May 2021 and died in the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Lee, a Republican, introduced renewed legislation — S.4561 — Tuesday that would remove federal agencies' blanket bans on bicycling in Wilderness and restore a prior U.S. Forest Service rule that allowed line officers to treat bikes as they do horses, hikers, campers, and hunters, allowing access based on local conditions.

Similar legislation has been introduced in 2016, 2018, and 2019 without passage. According to the Sustainable Trails Coalition, the U.S. Forest Service and Interior Department agree the reform is necessary to overturn the Wilderness Act of 1964 and welcome the flexibility that Lee's legislation would give them.

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