Effects of e-bikes on wildlife management areas

by AltoRider

We’ve discussed e-bikes, and one of the questions was what kinds of effects they have, and on wildlife in particular.  It looks like some places have seen enough use to say something about that.  Here is one report on that from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Class II and Class III e-bikes are now banned in off-road areas at all 193 wildlife and waterfowl management areas in the state, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources…

Division officials explained that they altered the rule because some e-bikes were “ruining” habitat meant to protect the state’s wildlife. They believe the rule change can help reduce habitat destruction.

“In areas where there is a lot of e-bike use, notable habitat damage is occurring,” said Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Capt. Chad Bettridge in a statement Thursday. “With the increased use of e-bikes, we are seeing these properties damaged, ultimately limiting our ability to manage them for their intended purpose.”

“While we would like to provide recreational opportunities on our WMAs, these properties were purchased for the benefit of wildlife and wildlife habitat,” he said. “These properties are public land, but they are not multiple-use like many other state and federally-owned properties.”

2 thoughts on “Effects of e-bikes on wildlife management areas”

  1. Thanks, Jon.. two interesting things.. first, class I are still allowed off-road.

    “The division had some limitations prior to this week’s rule change. Officials only allowed Class I e-bikes on established roads and other authorized areas within waterfowl management areas. Class I e-bikes contain a battery and electric motor that can assist a rider to reach up to 20 mph when a rider is pedaling but don’t contain a throttle, according to Bike.com. These types of e-bikes aren’t impacted by this week’s rule change.”

    Inquiring minds would like to know.. what damage exactly the bikes did.. or was it the behavior of the bikers with II and III that was different? Maybe someone could email and ask for more info. I think many folks write as if people aren’t interested in the why… or the mechanics. But many of us are.

  2. I agree Sharon, It would be informative to know what they observed, what damage has ocurred and if this is a behavioral issue with riders of class ll and class lll ebikes. My hunch is that these classes, particularly class ll bikes, attract buyers and riders who display irresponsible behavior because of either ignorance or attitude, and they behave irresponsibly with regularity. But it would be good to know the facts from the agency as they were the decision makers.


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