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Ask Wisconsin DNR to Improve Plans for Management of Electric Mountain Bikes on Trails

IMBA urges its supporters to ask the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to revise its proposed plan to manage electric mountain bike (eMTB) access on trails. Rather than creating a blanket policy that could allow all types of eMTBs on all trail types, please ask the DNR to move forward more cautiously.

Submit your comments by Feb. 1, 2016, to DNR staffer Kathryn Fitzgerald: kathryn [dot] fitzgerald [at] wisconsin [dot] gov OR 608-267-2764. 

There will also be a public hearing on Feb. 1, 2016, in Fitchburg from 5 p.m.–7 p.m. at the DNR Service Center, 3911 Fish Hatchery Road.

Specifically, please mention that proposal NR45 should be modified to specify that certain classes of eMTBs (such as pedal-assist models) should be matched to particular trail types (like wide, natural-surface paths). Not all trails, particularly narrow singletrack, are suitable for wholesale access by eMTBs. The DNR should also engage in research to determine which types of electric bicycles best interface with the current trail designs and users. The process for exclusion or inclusion needs to be fully defined with input from the mountain bike community before a proposal such as NR45 can be successfully implemented.

Additionally, we suggest you ask the DNR to revise NR45 to read as follows: “The department may prohibit operation of motor bicycles on specific trails or sections of trails by posted notice. No person may operate a motor bicycle on a trail open to bicycles unless the trail is posted as open to motor bicycles.”