The Moab Bureau of Land Management has prohibited electric mountain bikes from its MTB trails. Moab is one of America's most iconic MTB riding areas, world-famous for the dotted "Slickrock" trail.
On an update on the rules and regulations part of the Moab BLM's website, there's this stark statement:
"The Moab BLM has determined that motor assisted bicycles (electric, gas or diesel) are motorized vehicles. Use of motor assisted bicycles is only allowed on motorized trails ... The use of motor assisted bicycles is NOT allowed on mountain bike trails."
Moab's ruling is likely to be the first of many such restrictions. Many electric mountain bikes look almost idential to "standard" mountain bikes. While the street-legal ones are pedal-assist it's possible for manufacturers and retailers to over-ride this feature, and some land managers – especially those in areas where the use of mountain bikes is already a touchy issue, including in the UK – fear that use of electric mountain bikes could, in time, lead to bans for all bicycles, battery powered or not.
Spotter: Tweetymike and source.