THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Washington departments of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Natural Resources (DNR) are seeking public input on electric-assist bicycling, or e-biking, on WDFW and DNR-managed lands as part of a process directed by Senate Bill 5452, a bill that passed the state Legislature in 2021.
Members of the public are invited to two virtual public meetings scheduled for 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., Thursday, May 12, and 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 18. The departments are also taking public feedback through an online public survey, available in English and Spanish, through Friday, July 15.
WDFW and DNR will report findings from this process in a report to the Legislature by Sept. 30, 2022. These findings will inform future processes for local decision making about the use of e-bikes on WDFW and DNR-managed lands.
“E-bikes are increasingly popular in Washington state and across the country,” said Heide Andersen, WDFW recreation planner. “Public input and research on best practices will guide how we manage e-biking on state-managed lands while protecting wildlife, habitat, cultural, and tribal resources.”
“DNR is working in close collaboration with our partners at WDFW to ensure our e-bike policies are closely aligned and consistent. DNR values public input on e-bikes and will use public comments to craft common sense polices that enrich recreational opportunities for all public land users,” said Andrea Martin, Statewide Recreation Manager for DNR.
DNR and WDFW currently allow e-biking on roads and trails open to motorized vehicles. Visitors carrying a valid Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking placard for their vehicles can use class 1 and 2 e-bikes on all trails and roads where bikes are allowed. More information about the different e-bike classes is available on the land managers’ websites.
For more information about this e-bike process, details to join the May 12 and May 18 virtual meetings, and to complete the online public survey, visit wdfw.wa.gov/ebikes or dnr.wa.gov/ebikes.
Members of the public who have limited or no internet connections may call the Wildlife Program Customer Service Desk at 360-902-2515 to request a print version of the survey. Written comments may be mailed to:
Wildlife Program Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife PO Box 43200 Olympia, WA 98504
WDFW manages more than a million acres of land and hundreds of water access areas throughout the state. By actively managing lands, restoring habitats, and preserving wild places, the Department serves as stewards for Washington’s natural places, protecting the state’s land and water for its human and wildlife populations.
DNR manages 1,200 miles of trails and 160-plus recreation sites in 3 million acres of working forest state trust lands and 92 natural areas. DNR trust lands provide clean water, and generate revenue for public services and school construction. DNR also oversees 2.6 million acres of state aquatic lands, rule administration for 12 million forested acres, the Washington Geological Survey and wildland firefighting across 13 million acres of forestland.