Ryan Jacobsen’s “It’s the Law” column did not clear up the confusion concerning the use of e-bikes on public land; it increased it. The article did not reflect the fact that public lands in the U.S. come under the jurisdiction of two different U.S. cabinets, the departments of Interior and Agriculture and also the state of Idaho. The order mentioned only addressed the lands managed by the Department of the Interior, including the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Wildlife Refuge System and National Parks lands.

The national forest (United States Forest Service) lands are managed by the Department of Agriculture and are not covered by the Interior Department order. The latest guidance I have found is the USFS still considers e-bikes as motorized vehicles, and they are restricted to trails and roads designated for motorized use.

I have just returned from riding the BLM lands outside of Fruita, Colorado, and the popular nonmotorized trails are currently posted not permitted for e-bikes until completion of a “planning process.” So, the process of opening BLM and other DOI lands may not be completed yet.

Likewise, the state lands have their own regulations. My information is that the state does not regulate motorized/nonmotorized, only over/under 50-inch trail use.

Don’t take my word for any of this. Contact the local USFS ranger district, the BLM or Idaho Department of Lands for official information. Know before you go.

Ken Durstine

Idaho Falls

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