The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) wants to improve electric bike accessibility on its trails. The project would expand the number of trails in the basin that electric bikes are allowed on. The Forest Service is calling it the Basin Wide Trails Analysis Project.
Along with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Forest Service will be hosting a virtual open house on Wednesday, March 10, from 5:30-7:30 PM Pacific Standard Time. During the webinar, they will introduce the project and field questions regarding their proposals.
The Basin Wide Trails Analysis Project would approve Class-1 electric bikes on specific trails. The Forest Service will determine which trails are appropriate for e-bikes and amend the current LTBMU trail system. The updated maps will clearly mark the trails allowed.
“The Forest Service recognizes that e-bikes are growing in popularity across the country and at Lake Tahoe. We are excited to be moving forward with our planning effort and want to hear from the public, partners and stakeholders how we can best improve e-bike access in the basin, while continuing to protect and maintain our highly valued scenic and natural resources.”
– Forest Supervisor Bill Jackson
The Forest Service must go through a multi-step process to get there. They will perform an environmental assessment, analyzing the current road and trail systems to meet the need for e-bike access on NFS lands. An evaluation of the potential environmental impact is necessary as well.
Currently, only roads and trails specified for motorized vehicle use allow electric bikes. The Forest Service will work to expand access to unauthorized trials. The project will also look at other jurisdictions and their e-bike allowances to create a system of connected electric bike trails in the region. Work includes installation of proper signage, upgrading trailhead parking, and reinforcing trail crossings over streams.
The Forest Service and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency encourage participants to register via Zoom for their webinar. They also provide a proposed action and scoping letter for readers to comment on before Sunday, March 28th.