You are here

Lee reintroduces legislation to allow bike access in Wilderness areas

Published May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Utah's Sen. Mike Lee has reintroduced legislation to allow bicycles on existing trails and roads in federal Wilderness areas.

Lee, a Republican, introduced S. 1686 on May 18. It would allow the Forest Service and Interior Department to decide individually on whether to allow bicycles on Wilderness areas they manage. It would remove federal agencies' bicycling bans and allow bikes to be treated the same as horses, hikers, campers, and hunters, allowing access based on local conditions.

Like previous legislation introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate, S. 1686 would not be a blanket permit for bicycling in the Wilderness, according to the Sustainable Trails Coalition, a nonprofit that has advocated since 2015 against blanket bans on human-powered travel.

Similar legislation has been introduced in 2016, 2018, and 2019 without passage. According to the Sustainable Trails Coalition, the 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.

The most recent Wilderness bill that Lee brought forth died in the previous Congressional session that ended in January without receiving a vote.

Join the Conversation