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SALT LAKE CITY — Mountain bikes could be allowed in some wilderness areas under a bill Sen. Mike Lee has introduced in Congress.
The Utah Republican wants to let local land managers decide whether to allow and how to regulate nonmotorized travel in wilderness area.
“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.”
The Wilderness Act of 1964 prohibits motor vehicles, motorized equipment, motorboats and other forms of mechanical transport in wilderness areas, according to Lee. Department of Interior policy considers nonmotorized mountain bikes to be "mechanical transport."
The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act would insert language into the law to ensure that the rules restricting “mechanical transport” do not include forms of nonmotorized travel in which one or more people are the sole sources of power.