The Department of the Interior is proposing to allow motorized mountain bikes, also known as e-bikes or eMTBs, on backcountry trails on our public lands – trails that human-powered recreationists such as mountain bikers and hikers have worked to keep non-motorized. This change threatens not only wildlife but also decades of collaborative efforts to designate quality, non-motorized trail opportunities in our local communities, and on public lands across the West.
Please submit your comment today to protect wildlife and existing non-motorized recreation – comments due June 9.
While e-bikes clearly offer benefits in certain settings, such as being a great alternative to automobiles that reduces our community’s carbon footprint or as a great way to explore backcountry roads, they are by definition motorized vehicles that must be managed accordingly. Motorized e-bikes generally impact wildlife more than non-motorized mountain bikes by enabling people to travel faster and farther into important wildlife habitat. Like all forms of recreation, e-bikes have impacts when used in the backcountry, and their use should be thoughtfully managed and balanced with other resources and uses.
But in this latest attack on our public lands, the Trump administration wants to allow motorized e-bikes anywhere that non-motorized bikes are allowed on BLM lands. Trail networks on our local public lands could be opened to all classes of motorized e-bikes, including those that can be powered solely by a thumb throttle and those capable of traveling nearly 30 miles per hour. These are places that local trail advocates, mountain biking clubs and others have spent decades designing, funding and maintaining specifically for non-motorized, human-powered uses.
We support a middle ground solution that includes allowing certain types of e-bikes on designated routes approved by local land managers through a public process, not a blanket expansion of e-bike use into the backcountry. Please tell the BLM that e-bikes are motorized vehicles and belong on motorized trails – comments due June 9.
>>> SUBMIT YOUR LETTER HERE