Monday, May 18, 2020

Traditional cyclists, e-bikers clash over new trail rules across Colorado

After a couple days of hard hiking last fall, Tim Brass thought it was time to track down a motor. He was bowhunting in a trophy unit near Creede, and plenty of other hunters were using a motorized trail for swift access. His friend offered an e-bike. Brass got his elk. “Best hunting experience of my life. And that tool made it a lot easier to get the elk out of there, I’ll tell you that. It made it bearable, for sure,” said the Colorado policy director for the 40,000-member Backcountry Hunters and Anglers group. But that pedal-assisted hunt wasn’t enough to flip Brass into a wholehearted embrace of e-bikes. He points to wildlife surveys showing animals increasingly bothered by all types of explorers adventuring deeper into Colorado’s wildest lands. “Do we want people to be able to ride a bike twice as far in a day? Do we want to allow them where motorcycles can’t go? What if we know the impacts to wildlife will be greater?” Brass said. “The fact is, these things have a motor that lets people go deeper and further much easier than ever before. It can be a bit of a slippery slope when it comes to allowing motorized use on non-motorized routes.” Allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails, as ordered by the secretary of the Interior Department last fall, is pitting traditional pedalers versus e-bikers as federal land agencies craft rules to implement the new order. Cyclists fear the embrace of electric-assisted pedalers could get all bikes banned from trails. Trail builders worry about impacts from motorized bikes that can reach more than 50 mph. E-bikers fret their opportunities to explore public lands could be relegated to motorized thoroughfares. Thousands of public land users are flooding the public comment portals in what is emerging as one of the most controversial rules in years for the Bureau of Land Management...MORE


Anonymous said...

Why don't "wildlife experts" get over the claim that wildlife are disturbed by vehicles? It is just plain used oats science. Wildlife are more disturbed by people on foot and their dogs than a vehicle. You can approach wildlife on a quiet, slow driven ATV closer than you ever can on foot. If you don't believe me than you are living in your house and practicing used oats science.

Dave Skinner said...

Good lord, BHA's guy is a flaming hypocrite, a total tool.