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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Lawmakers, wildlife officials study e-bikes on trails

Issaquah, Wash. ( Associated Press) — The use of electric bikes is on the rise, so lawmakers and wildlife officials are studying their effects on trails to determine where they should be allowed.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources is conducting a survey looking at the use of e-bikes on natural surface trails, King5 reported.,

“We’ve already had like 7,000 respondents in that survey, and at our public meetings, we had at least 120 people each,” said Heid Anderson, recreation planner for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The law passed last year also directs wildlife officials to seek input from a range of groups, including tribal leaders and the disabled community.

“E-bikes really provide a way for a lot of people to access trails and public land that might not be able to otherwise,” Anderson said.

When it comes to wildlife, soil and water resources there are concerns about overuse on public lands.

“Our biggest mission is to protect wildlife resources and so it is very important for us now to try to balance the two,” Anderson said.

The survey ended on Friday, and wildlife officials have until the end of September to get the report to lawmakers.

“We want to think about where are the best places to use them,” said state Sen. Marco Lias, chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

The next step is policy. Officials hope the study will give clear rules and regulations on when and where e-bikes can be used.

“We don’t want people to come too fast on trails where it’s not safe, we want to make sure they have the right kind of bike for the right kind of trail. Part of what the department is doing is just Thinking those details through,” Lias said.

The main goal is to get as many people out as possible.

World Nation News Desk
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