A proposal to allow state game lands users to ride Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles in the same manner they can ride traditional bicycles now today was voted down by the board.
The commissioners gave preliminary approval to the measure in January but tabled it in April. Today, the measure was rejected by a 5-3 vote, with Commissioners Stanley Knick, Brian Hoover, and Timothy Layton voting in favor of permitting e-bikes on game lands.
While it remains unlawful to operate e-bikes on game lands, the 2020-21 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is issued to hunters and fur takers at the time they buy their licenses, erroneously states on Page 16 that Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are permitted on game lands. This is incorrect. All e-bikes continue to be prohibited everywhere on game lands, including on roads normally open to public travel. E-bikes cannot be used on game lands while hunting or trapping. The prohibition on their use will continue to be enforced.
Prior to a vote on the measure, Commissioner Michael Mitrick questioned the need for e-bikes. Mitrick said that game lands primarily serve to provide wildlife habitat and places to hunt, trap and otherwise interact with wildlife, and permitting even limited recreational riding could compromise that purpose.
Commissioners Charles Fox, Scott Foradora, Dennis Fredericks, and Kristen Schnepp-Giger joined with Mitrick in voting to keep e-bike use on game lands unlawful.
A Class 1 e-bike is defined as a two-wheeled bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of 750 watts (1 horsepower) or less that provides assistance only when the rider is actively pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.
A Class 2 e-bike is defined as a bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and a throttle-actuated 750-watt motor that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph. The bike can operate without pedaling.