Sen. Lee seeks biking access in wilderness areas

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, a bill that would empower local managers of wilderness areas to decide whether to allow and how to regulate non-motorized travel in wilderness areas.

“The National Wilderness Preservation System was created so that the American people could enjoy our country’s priceless natural areas,” Sen. Lee said. “This bill would enrich Americans’ enjoyment of the outdoors by expanding recreational opportunities in wilderness areas.”

Specifically, the bill would:

1) Give local wilderness managers two years to determine whether to open routes in their wilderness areas to non-motorized travel

2) If a local manager fails to make a determination regarding which routes to open or keep closed within two years, all routes in that official’s wilderness jurisdiction would be open to non- motorized travel unless and until the official affirmatively closes them.

3) Local wilderness managers would retain authority to open and close routes and regulate their use after the initial two-year window.

4) Land managers would be free to regulate non-motorized travel in their jurisdictions however they see fit, such as by requiring a permit, limiting group size, establishing speed limits, etc.

Bill text can be found here.