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Coming soon to national park trails: electric bikes

Critics argue that allowing motorized electric bicycles into national parks nationwide is a slippery slope that could change the nature of the parks.

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.

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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.

Credit: AP
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.