11/14/2019 COTA Update regarding e-bikes on BLM lands:
At this time e-bikes are still not allowed on BLM singletrack trails designated for non-motorized use, which includes Maston, Cline Buttes/Cascade View trails, Horse Ridge, etc. The local BLM offices are required to perform a public comment phase, as well as work out procedural and implementation issues. We don't know how long the process will take, but we are trying to keep up with their progress and will share updated information as soon as we receive it.
As a reminder, there are no rule changes regarding US Forest Service lands (managed by the US Dept of Agriculture). E-bikes continue to be considered motorized vehicles and therefore not permitted in national forests.
On 29 August, the Dept of the Interior issued a rule change regarding e-bike access on lands managed by the agency (official DOI letter in PDF form below).
Agencies involved include National Parks (such as Crater Lake, John Day Fossil Beds) and BLM/Bureau of Land Management.
The order does not include the US Forest Service, as they are part of the USDA/Dept of Agriculture. There has been no rule change with the USFS at this time.
The agencies involved have 14 days to make the changes needed to comply with the order.
We want to remind everyone that COTA operates under volunteer agreements with the land management agencies and can neither make, or enforce any rules or regulations concerning e-bikes or any other access to non-motorized trails we maintain under these agreements.
What we can do is advise the community on how the rules are applied to the trails we have maintenance responsibility for. We have not heard from the BLM yet on their plans to implement the new rule. We will monitor this as closely as possible for further developments.
In the meantime, the rules for trails in national forests, like Deschutes National Forest, still apply. E-bikes are still not allowed on non-motorized trails on national forest land. Per the USFS website: E-bikes are not allowed on trails designated for non-motorized use. Non-motorized trails include trails like hiker, horse, or mountain bike trails. E-bikes, like other motorized transportation, also are not allowed to travel cross-country off trail. There are no exceptions.
More information on E-bikes and the USFS’s Travel Management rules (along with roads and trails that allow E-bikes) can be found here.
We will update the public as we learn more.