United States Forest Service to Block Access to All Non-motorized Trails

AmMtnBikeRiders

New Member
Your chance to ever ride an e-mountain bike on U.S. National Forest Service (NFS) backcountry trails is at stake. The U.S. Forest Service has put at risk all users who value and use non-motorized trails.


We have until October 26 to comment and oppose the NFS new rules on e-bikes in the national forest.



Please go this link FSM 7700 and 7710 E-bikes #ORMS-2619 and comment. It’s quick. Enter name and write what you want. Takes a couple minutes, no more.


The deadline is next Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. DO IT NOW, if you can.


You can just say you agreed with American Mountain Bike Riders’ position and oppose the NFS proposal as it is written.


If want, add:


  • Don’t agree with the NFS proposal. It’s a non-starter. Doesn’t help achieve eMTB access and threatens non-motorized trails.
  • Don’t agree that all e-bikes should be classified as motor vehicles and restricted to motorized trails for dirt bikes and off-road motorcycles.
  • Get in step with the other federal land management agencies, the National Park Service and BLM as well as the majority of states and classify e-bikes as bikes.

We are American Mountain Bike Riders (AMBR), a new national organization that advocates for e-mountain bike (eMTB) access to non-motorized natural surface trails. We advocate for equal access for pedal-assist bikes where other mountain bikes are allowed. A Class 1 electric mountain bike (eMTB) is a mountain bike and should be permitted where existing bikes are allowed but not where existing bikes are not allowed.


Thanks for help,


AMBR
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I already commented and I also posted a thread on this topic with a link months ago.

By the way, non-motorized trails ARE closed to Ebike use now on Forest Service land. From what I understand, they are trying to figure out how or if to open them up to ebikes.

Perhaps you have your agencies mixed up? Park Serivice, BLM (Bureau of Land Management allows ebikes, Forest Service does not. The first two are managed by the Department of the Interior, and the Forest Service is managed by the Department of Agriculture.
 

AmMtnBikeRiders

New Member
The is a new proposal, published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2020.
The BLM and NPS proposed new rules on e-bikes in April and the last day to comment on those proposals were June 9. Perhaps those were the proposals you commented upon. The BLM and NPS just adopted their final rules. The NPS removed e-bikes from the motor vehicle definition, and thus permitted on non-motorized trails where traditional bikes allowed. The BLM adopted rules that permits local offices to exempt e-bikes from motor vehicle class on an area or trail basis.
The NFS is proposing the opposite. All classes of e-bike would be motor vehicles and permanently barred from all non-motorized trails. No exceptions. No process to exclude. No access to non-motorized trails.
You are correct that the NFS does presently manages e-bike as motor vehicles and claims can't use non-motorized trails. However, the legal NFS definition of motor vehicles in its regulations ("vehicle that is self-propelled) does not cover all classes of e-bikes. Neither a class 1 or 3 e-bike is "self-propelled." This proposal is to close the legal gap, nail all e-bikes as motor vehicles, and keep off non-motorized trails.
The NFS has rejected the approach of all the Interior Department agencies and the majority of states which label and manage e-bikes as bikes, not motor vehicles. For a complete discussion, here's the link to the AMBR comment filed with the NFS. Pls let me know if any problem with link and I can attached a pdf of our comments.
AMBR was established to focus on federal issues. We are familiar with the different agencies and their rules and policies.
I urge you to comment on this proposal.