June 23, 2021

The proposed electric mountain bike rule is evidence that staff does not listen to member comments. In two recent surveys on the subject of electric mountain bike use on Tahoe Donner trails, a majority of the members with an opinion on the subject did not want electric mountain bikes on Tahoe Donner trails. Over 50% of the survey respondents somewhat or strongly agree that electric mountain bikes will change the character of the trail system, making the trails less enjoyable for other user groups. Yet, staff proposes to allow them to accommodate the 12% of TD members that own electric mountain bikes. Why are those survey results never mentioned in the staff reports or the 45 day notice?
One of the goals of the rule change is to have a rule that is “widely accepted.” How, precisely, does the proposed rule change meet that standard?
Approving electric mountain bike use on Tahoe Donner trails will result in our trails being included on websites used by electric mountain bikers in search of trails to ride on. Tahoe Donner trails can already feel like a bike park. It will get worse. Tahoe Donner’s covenants enforcement process has no application to members of the public – yet staff pretends that it will be able to enforce particular restrictions on trail use.
In discussions with staff on why the rule change is moving forward in the face of contrary member opinion, I was told that Tahoe Donner has to “keep up with the technology.” Really? Can’t Tahoe Donner trails be one place where advanced technology doesn’t intrude, especially when it will adversely impact hikers, bikers, equestrians and families just out for a quiet walk in the forest?
Staff and pro-electric mountain bike volunteers have spent a lot of time and resources promoting the rule change, but the Board should put a stop to it and not spend the $3,000 to $6,000 to send out the 45 day notice.
Jennifer Jennings