Wednesday, November 27, 2019

U.S. Forest Service Sued Over Decision to Allow eMTBs in Tahoe National Forest - Full Article

Nov 26, 2019
by Daniel Sapp

As recently reported by BRAIN, the United States Forest Service is the subject of a lawsuit pertaining to the USFS allowing Class 1 e-bikes on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest without first conducting a public study and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to assess the impact of the decision. The lawsuit was filed October 23, according to a press release and cites a violation of the "Travel Management" rule, limiting motorized access to certain U.S. Forest Service trails.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented by the Western Environmental Law Center and include The Wilderness Society, Gold County Trails Council, Backcountry Horsemen of California, Back Country Horsemen of America, and the Forest Issues Group.

According to the press release, the Tahoe National Forest recently permitted “Class 1” electric mountain bikes on more than 130 miles of trails that had been developed and managed for hiking and other non-motorized uses. The Tahoe National Forest area already has about 2,500 miles of trails and roads available for motorized uses.

The decision purportedly undermines long-standing travel management laws and policies in place to help ensure higher quality recreation experiences for both motorized and non-motorized users, prevent avoidable damage to water, wildlife, and other resources, and alleviate public safety concerns and conflicts between users, according to the statement...

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