The Forest Service Seeks Public Input on E-bike Access on USFS Non-motorized Trails

Photo: Santa Cruz

The US Forest Service is seeking input from the public about how e-bikes are managed on USFS land.

“Advancements in e-bike technology, tremendous growth in the popularity of this recreational activity, and rapidly increasing opportunities for e-bike use on other federal lands have prompted federal agencies such as the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service to examine current authority, regulations, and policy governing the use of e-bikes. Federal land management agencies are considering options for facilitating and expanding access for e-bikes use.”

The comments are part of a proposed update that would further clarify the e-bike designation system for the USFS and “provide needed guidance to field units under existing Travel Management Rule definitions, and establish criteria to designate roads, trails, and areas for e-bikes use.”

Comments are being recorded and include the participant’s name and will become a part of the public record. Anonymous comments are being accepted too.

The Tahoe National Forest (TNF) jumped the gun in 2019, allowing class 1 eMTBs on non-motorized trails. Equestrian advocacy groups followed that decision with a lawsuit aimed at challenging the TNF’s decision. The TNF was forced to retract their decision and reverted back to only allowing eMTBs on motorized trails, but hinted that things may change in the future.

“The Forest Service is considering options that would expand e-bike access, including options for allowing e-bike use on NFS roads and trails where that use is not currently allowed,” they said earlier this year. “The Forest Service will continue to update the public on these efforts and any associated opportunities for public involvement.”

Submit your comments here.