Backpedaling

California’s Tahoe National Forest is backpedaling on its decision to allow e-bikes on nonmotorized trails.

After opening 136 miles of nonmotorized trails last July to class 1 e-mtbs (aka pedal assist), the U.S. Forest Service was slapped with a lawsuit from various environmental and trail groups, including the Durango-based Wilderness Society. However, paperwork filed in California District Court shows the case has been settled.

According to documents, the Tahoe National Forest removed wording from its website giving the OK to e-mtbs on non-motorized trails and replaced it, saying e-bikes are not currently allowed on lands closed to motorized use.

Recently, the BLM changed its classification, allowing e-bikes anywhere regular bikes are allowed, and e-bikes are allowed on motorized trails and roads within the national forest system.

However, the Tahoe National Forest left the trailhead gate open, writing on its website, “The Forest Service strives to provide a broad range of recreational experiences on NFS roads and trails, including hiking and horseback riding, mountain biking, and motor vehicle use. 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.”

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