- It’s important to note that the agencies’ rulings do not automatically open nonmotorized trails to eMTBs, despite public perception to the contrary. In fact, neither decision immediately affects current eMTB access.
- Both agencies define eMTBs as motorized vehicles in their regulations.
- The Forest Service and BLM both recognize eMTBs as being separate from traditional bicycles, and that management decisions can be independently applied, even if access is shared.
- Both agencies require a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment with public comments to determine which nonmotorized trails will allow eMTBs before access is granted.
- The BLM can make conditional exclusions to exempt electric mountain bikes from motorized status, while the Forest Service has not created exclusion criteria. Therefore, eMTB access will require changing any nonmotorized trail to motorized status.
- Budgetary and staffing shortages among federal agencies mean it could take years to see any official eMTB trail designations made. Strong advocacy and public support will be required to effect change.