Judge calls for review of bicycle ban inside national forest

An article in the Missoulian summarized on Greenwire:

Judge calls for review of bicycle ban inside national forest

A district judge has ruled to keep motorized vehicles out of remote parts of Bitterroot National Forest but decided officials need to hear from bicyclists who believe they’ve been unfairly shut out from trails.

“It’s a pretty good result for the Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists,” plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Turcke said yesterday. “The court declared the agency decision to close the areas unlawful as far as bicycles are concerned. For snowmobiles, not so much” (Rob Chaney, Missoulian, July 2).

4 thoughts on “Judge calls for review of bicycle ban inside national forest”

  1. I ride a mountain bike and recently heard that Mt. Hood NF has a blanket ban on electric bicycles. I don’t know if that’s the type of bike in this ruling but it seems like an overreach to blanket ban E-bikes from trails that are currently open to MTB riding.
    Heck, the population is aging and more people may want to use an E-bike so they can keep riding and enjoying NF land. Two years ago I met two Rocky Mtn Elk Foundation members, in their 70’s, who were excited to be trying out their new E-bike mountain bikes. Good for them for finding a way to keep getting out to the forest!
    As an MTB rider I’m cool with E-bikes on the trail with me. I do NOT consider them to be motorized in the sense that a gas powered dirt bike would be. E-bikes are quiet.

    • Forest Service regulations say that e-bikes are motorized vehicles since, well, they have a motor. Therefore they are only allowed on trails open to motorized use.

  2. I get the feeling it’s any bikes, e or not. My question is, how did the judge figure that one thing not allowed in Wilderness (snowmobiles, motorized) is not OK but something else not allowed in Wilderness (mechanized) needs to be reanalyzed? Maybe that will come out in the Litigation Weekly.


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