State game land users could soon be able to ride Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles in the same manner they can ride traditional bicycles now.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a measure that would allow Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on game lands.

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 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.

If adopted, the measure would allow Class 1 and Class 2 e-bike riders to ride anywhere on game lands while actively engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing. E-bikes would be permitted on any roads normally open to public travel or posted designated routes.

From the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and from the second Saturday of April and through the last Saturday of May, e-bike use that’s unrelated to hunting, trapping or fishing would be prohibited, except on Sundays.

At present, disabled persons are permitted to use e-bikes as mobility devices on game lands. Commissioners said allowing e-bikes to be used responsibly by all hunters and trappers would greatly improve access and enhance their experiences afield, without causing significant damage to existing road and trail systems, wildlife or the peace and tranquility of wilderness areas.

A final vote on the measure will occur this April.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.