Reporting Incidents with Electric Bikes on Public Trails

While the use of electric motorized bicycles (e-bikes) on non-motorized trails might be authorized by federal land management agencies, few have done so to date given extensive requirements for stakeholder engagement and environmental review. Yet equestrians continue to describe incidents of illegal e-bike use on trails shared by hikers and other trail users.

Federal land managers not aware of the equestrian concerns regarding the increased potential for trail conflict and safety issues associated with fast-moving e-bikes might be persuaded to authorize e-bike use in the absence of documentation of such incidents. As a member of the American Horse Council Recreation, Trails & Land Use Committee, ELCR supports the reporting system our conservation partner Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) has developed which allows equestrian trail users to submit reports of e-bike encounters—either positive or negative—while enjoying natural surface trails.

To simplify the reporting process, BCHA has developed an on-line E-BIKE Incident Report Form. Over time, these reports could prove useful in identifying trail conflict “hot spots” and in making a case for land managers to proceed with caution when deciding where to authorize e-bike use. You can access and print out the on-line form here. Mobile phone users can download the form here.

Please email completed forms to BCHA at:

BCHA recommends that persons documenting e-bike related incidents do the following: 

1. Keep a copy of the completed form for their own records.

2. Submit a copy to the relevant land management authority on whose lands the incident occurred (e.g., Forest Service district/local office or local park manager).3. Send an electronic version to BCHA for our records (send to: stating whether or not a copy has also been provided to the relevant land management agency. 

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