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Coming to national park trails: electric bikes
In this June 8, 2019 file photo, Janice Goodwin stands by her electric-assist bicycle at a gate near the start of the carriage path system where bikes such as her are banned inside Acadia National Park, in this photo June 8, 2018, in Bar Harbor, Maine. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed the order on Thursday allowing motorized electric bicycles into national parks and other public lands.(AP Photo/David Sharp, files)

Motorized electric bicycles may soon be humming their way into serene national parks and other public lands nationwide under a new Trump administration order.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is officially classifying the electric-powered bikes as non-motorized bikes and giving agencies 14 days to rewrite their rules accordingly.

He signed the order without fanfare on Thursday.

The move is being celebrated by e-biker supporters. They say the bikes are a boon to older riders and those with disabilities.

But critics say it’s a slippery slope that could change the nature of national parks. More than 50 hiking, horse-riding and other outdoor and conservation associations, including the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Pacific Crest Trail Association, objected in a July letter.

Coming to national park trails: electric bikes
In this June 8, 2019 file photo, Gordon and Janice Goodwin show their electric-assist bicycles outside their home in Bar Harbor, Maine. Motorized electric bicycles may soon be humming their way into serene national parks and other public lands nationwide, under a new Trump administration order allowing the so-called e-bikes on every federal trail where a regular bike can go. (AP Photo/David Sharp, files)

E-bikes encounter rocky road to approval despite popularity

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Coming to national park trails: electric bikes (2019, August 30)
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