Utah Senator Mike Lee recently introduced a possible bill in progress that would bring some change to the way that visitors recreate in certain wilderness areas.
Sen. Lee’s bill proposes that mountain bikes be allowed in certain areas, with the local land managers deciding whether to allow and how best to regulate the non-motorized travel. He was quoted stating that the National Wilderness Preservation System was created in order to allow the American people to enjoy the country’s priceless natural areas.
He continued by expressing that his bill would enrich the enjoyment of the outdoors by expanding the recreational opportunities presented to those that wish to visit said wilderness areas. According to Sen. Lee, the Wilderness Act of 1964 prohibited motorized equipment or vehicles, motorboats and other various forms of mechanical transportation in the wilderness area. Furthermore, the Department of Interior policy considers mountain bikes to fall in the mechanical transport category.
The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas act would work to change to language of the law enough to ensure that the rules that restrict the mechanical transport to not include the forms on non-motorized travel that work when one or more persons are the sole source of power to generate the travel.