E Bikes on Colorado foot trails?

P Y Buck

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I read an article that stated Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed a new law in August 2019 that allows E- Bikes on BLM and National Park trails.
Does anyone have knowledge to where I could find maps of the trails that allow the E bikes? It would be a great way to haul big game animals out on cart attached to an E-bike.

Down side of it is that it would make for more traffic due to easier access into the back country.
 

BCSojourner

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I read an article that stated Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed a new law in August 2019 that allows E- Bikes on BLM and National Park trails.
Does anyone have knowledge to where I could find maps of the trails that allow the E bikes? It would be a great way to haul big game animals out on cart attached to an E-bike.

Down side of it is that it would make for more traffic due to easier access into the back country.
The meetings behind closed doors with industry executives that led up to the issuance of Secretarial Order (SO) 3376 were found to be illegal as they violated the public notice requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. As a result this Order is being contested and not being implemented. E-bikes are currently legal only on trails and routes that are open to other motorized travel. If a trail is limited to mechanical travel (e.g., mountain bikes) on public lands (USFS or BLM) e-bikes cannot legally be used. There is an article that explains what happened regarding the SO, as well as some thoughtful insights on ebike use in the current issue of Backcountry Journal. It is well written by Tim Brass, BHA's Colorado State Policy and Field Operations Director, who is also an avid hunter and mountain biker. He used an e-bike (legally) on a dirt bike trail to take a nice bull in the CO backcountry.
 
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P Y Buck

P Y Buck

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The meetings behind closed doors with industry executives that led up to the issuance of Secretarial Order (SO) 3376 were found to be illegal as they violated the public notice requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. As a result this Order is being contested and not being implemented. E-bikes are currently legal only on trails and routes that are open to other motorized travel. If a trail is limited to mechanical travel (e.g., mountain bikes) on public lands (USFS or BLM) e-bikes cannot legally be used. There is an article that explains what happened regarding the SO, as well as some thoughtful insights on ebike use in the current issue of Backcountry Journal. It is well written by Tim Brass, BHA's Colorado State Policy and Field Operations Director, who is also an avid hunter and mountain biker. He used an e-bike (legally) on a dirt bike trail to take a nice bull in the CO backcountry.
Thanks for the information. Can you provide a link to the Backcountry Journal article?
 

BCSojourner

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Thanks for the information. Can you provide a link to the Backcountry Journal article?
Not sure if this will work but here you go.......

I stay on top of access issues on public land - it's part of my job. Despite what you might read, this SO is not being implemented at this time. It is being contested in court. You can verify by calling some local BLM or USFS offices. This applies to Federal or Public lands.
 

chasewild

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The meetings behind closed doors with industry executives that led up to the issuance of Secretarial Order (SO) 3376 were found to be illegal as they violated the public notice requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. As a result this Order is being contested and not being implemented. E-bikes are currently legal only on trails and routes that are open to other motorized travel. If a trail is limited to mechanical travel (e.g., mountain bikes) on public lands (USFS or BLM) e-bikes cannot legally be used. There is an article that explains what happened regarding the SO, as well as some thoughtful insights on ebike use in the current issue of Backcountry Journal. It is well written by Tim Brass, BHA's Colorado State Policy and Field Operations Director, who is also an avid hunter and mountain biker. He used an e-bike (legally) on a dirt bike trail to take a nice bull in the CO backcountry.
As a public land lawyer, excellent post. Although, all I can find is a lawsuit with regard to NPS. Has anything been filed with regard to BLM?
 
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P Y Buck

P Y Buck

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I reached out to the Forest Service office in Grand Junction and received the following response:

While Secretary Bernhardt issued the order mentioned, the Forest Service is within the Department of Agriculture and not the Department of Interior. The USDA Secretary has not issued a similar order and as such e-bikes are welcome on all roads and trails open to motorized vehicles on National Forest System lands. Thank you for your inquiry.

Corey Wong
Public Service Staff Officer
Forest Service
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
p: 970-874-6668
c: 970-260-7187
f: 970-874-6698
 
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P Y Buck

P Y Buck

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Thanks BCS for the link. It is a great read and sums up the status of the E bike controversy until further action if any is made public.
 

DAOutfitters208

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I saw this coming long ago. The industry leaders have to push for this because their price point is so high it makes no sense to buy an e bike when they have no competitive advantage over a motorized vehicle. If they do succeed with this, sales will go through the roof and that is what they are gambling on. I truly hope it does not change. You think your favorite area you hike into now gets crowded with foot traffic from time to time, wait until guys are riding MOTORIZED E bikes in!
 
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Felix40

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I saw this coming long ago. The industry leaders have to push for this because their price point is so high it makes no sense to buy an e bike when they have no competitive advantage over a motorized vehicle. If they do succeed with this, sales will go through the roof and that is what they are gambling on. I truly hope it does not change. You think your favorite area you hike into now gets crowded with foot traffic from time to time, wait until guys are riding bikes in!
*Riding MOTORIZED bikes in
 

BCSojourner

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As a public land lawyer, excellent post. Although, all I can find is a lawsuit with regard to NPS. Has anything been filed with regard to BLM?
As a public land lawyer, excellent post. Although, all I can find is a lawsuit with regard to NPS. Has anything been filed with regard to BLM?
Don't know, but we have been directed to treat e-bike use as motorized use in environmental assessments associated with BLM travel management projects.
 

BCSojourner

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I reached out to the Forest Service office in Grand Junction and received the following response:

While Secretary Bernhardt issued the order mentioned, the Forest Service is within the Department of Agriculture and not the Department of Interior. The USDA Secretary has not issued a similar order and as such e-bikes are welcome on all roads and trails open to motorized vehicles on National Forest System lands. Thank you for your inquiry.

Corey Wong
Public Service Staff Officer
Forest Service
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
p: 970-874-6668
c: 970-260-7187
f: 970-874-6698
Should have clarified-the USFS has never changed their initial management stance on e-bikes. The BLM did very briefly based on the Secretarial Order; however, because of the FACA violation the BLM is back to managing their use in concert with other OHV (public motorized vehicle) use. Sorry for the confusion!
 
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P Y Buck

P Y Buck

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Thanks for your input.
Im sure that we have not heard the end of this battle.
 

BCSojourner

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Probably not, but glad to help clarify in the meantime before somebody drops a bunch of coin on an e-bike thinking that the use is treated same as non-motorized.
 

Ebikerules

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The meetings behind closed doors with industry executives that led up to the issuance of Secretarial Order (SO) 3376 were found to be illegal as they violated the public notice requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. As a result this Order is being contested and not being implemented. E-bikes are currently legal only on trails and routes that are open to other motorized travel. If a trail is limited to mechanical travel (e.g., mountain bikes) on public lands (USFS or BLM) e-bikes cannot legally be used. There is an article that explains what happened regarding the SO, as well as some thoughtful insights on ebike use in the current issue of Backcountry Journal. It is well written by Tim Brass, BHA's Colorado State Policy and Field Operations Director, who is also an avid hunter and mountain biker. He used an e-bike (legally) on a dirt bike trail to take a nice bull in the CO backcountry.
The Secretarial order has already been implemented in many department of interior lands. You would need to provide a link to back up the notion that there is a legal impediment to the Secretarial order.

Side note, a trail that is limited to mechanical travel would mean motorcycles are allowed. There is no such thing as a non-mechanical motorcycle or ebike.
 

BCSojourner

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The Secretarial order has already been implemented in many department of interior lands. You would need to provide a link to back up the notion that there is a legal impediment to the Secretarial order.

Side note, a trail that is limited to mechanical travel would mean motorcycles are allowed. There is no such thing as a non-mechanical motorcycle or ebike.
I am talking about BLM and USFS lands. Different agencies than Park Service and managed differently. For the National Park Service lands and your postings noted above, it appears to me like the assisted use of the motor is not allowed except where motor vehicles are allowed and the E-bikes can be used only if you are pedaling them like a bicycle on non-motorized trails. Read the last line in the postings - unless I am misreading it? Mechanical limits typically apply to designated non-motorized routes or trails. Motorcycles would not typically be allowed on designated mountain bike trails unless the trail is also open to motorized single-track use (i.e., motorcycles). Just check with recreation staff before you take off on a trail. Many field offices also have travel management maps available and routes should be signed on the ground accordingly regarding motorized or non-motorized use.
 

Where's Bruce?

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Last season I hunted the Baca Refuge near Crestone, CO on a mt bike...e-bikes were prohibited but that didn't stop guys from using em. While they hunted elk, they were hunted by guys with badges. Ebikes face more restriction than mt bikes. There's a lot of public land where they are not permitted. That said, I just got a Bakcou Mule 1000 w/ trailer for bow hunting season on private property and areas where they are permitted (AZ provides quite a bit of freedom for backcountry ebike hunters). I just got mine and am still getting familiar with it. I have the single wheel trailer shown here. The damn thing has a surprising amount of power.

 

Ebikerules

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I am talking about BLM and USFS lands. Different agencies than Park Service and managed differently. For the National Park Service lands and your postings noted above, it appears to me like the assisted use of the motor is not allowed except where motor vehicles are allowed and the E-bikes can be used only if you are pedaling them like a bicycle on non-motorized trails. Read the last line in the postings - unless I am misreading it? Mechanical limits typically apply to designated non-motorized routes or trails. Motorcycles would not typically be allowed on designated mountain bike trails unless the trail is also open to motorized single-track use (i.e., motorcycles). Just check with recreation staff before you take off on a trail. Many field offices also have travel management maps available and routes should be signed on the ground accordingly regarding motorized or non-motorized use.
You were implying that the Secretarial Order was being held up in court, that is or isn't the case? Non-throttle, low-power EBikes are allowed wherever regular bikes are allowed in national parks, lands governed by Fish And Wildlife, and the Bureau of Reclamation all of which fall under Secretary Bernhardt's order. The BLM hasn't been as quick to direct the order yet, but I don't see how a lawsuit could be holding them up, especially when the lawsuit was directed at the National Parks and they are clearly greenlighting ebikes.

The term mechanical is typically referring to motorized devices
ADJECTIVE
A mechanical device has parts that move when it is working, often using power from an engine or from electricity.
...a small mechanical device that taps out the numbers.
This is the oldest working mechanical clock in the world.
Synonyms: automatic, automated, mechanized, power-driven
So referring to bikes as mechanical is an attempt by someone to associate them with nonhuman power.
 
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