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New bike rules possible for Missouri conservation areas

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The service road at Ranacker Conservation Area was well maintained and mowed.

PIKE COUNTY, Mo (WGEM) -- The Missouri Department of Conservation has proposed a new rule change which would allow regular and motorized bikes on service roads in all conservation areas next Spring.

Previously, bike use had been restricted to just multi-use trails, and only regular bikes were allowed.

The district supervisor for the Northeast District of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Ross Dames, said this possible rule change provides an exciting new possibility of having fun outdoors.

"Opening more of our conservation areas to bicycling and electric bikes, this gives people another opportunity to recreate on our conservation areas and allows easier access to some of the interior parts of our larger conservation areas," Dames said.

He said he believes it might encourage more people to spend more time experiencing nature.

"I think bicycling is a very popular outdoor activity. It's becoming more and more popular in today's world. And I think many of those bikers would like to ride their bikes somewhere other than concrete and asphalt and this would give them an opportunity to do that," Dames said.

He said one important thing to remember is that service roads will not be as well maintained as paved and car accessible roads. There might be ditches, tree branches down, un-mowed trails etc.

There are three main conservation areas in the Tri-States that would be impacted by the rule change: Indian Hills Conservation Area in Scotland County, Labelle Lake Conservation Area in Lewis County, and Fox Valley Lake Conservation Area in Clark County.

Bicycle use would also be expanded in Ranacker and Ted Shank Conservation areas in Pike County, Missouri.

There will be a public comment period on this potential rule change throughout October. If enacted, the new rules would go into effect beginning in March.

You can find more information here. You can also find nearby conservation areas here.

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Logan Williams

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