Respecting Your Wilderness Areas

Silver City, NM, October 2, 2018—For Immediate Release.  The Gila National Forest, Black Range Ranger District recently reported that hunters were using E-bikes in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness. This incident was referred to law enforcement.  The Gila National Forest has over 3 million acres, so there are multiple opportunities for using e-bikes in other areas of the forest.

36 CFR 261.16 states “The following are prohibited in a National Forest Wilderness: (a) Possessing or using a motor vehicle, motorboat or motorized equipment except as authorized by Federal law or regulation. (b) Possessing or using a hand glider or bicycle.” Mobility impaired persons, or persons with disabilities, may use wheelchairs in the wilderness.

The Gila National Forest is home to three wilderness areas, one of which is the first congressionally designated wilderness – the 550,000+ acres Gila Wilderness. The other wilderness areas are the 202,000+ acres Aldo Leopold Wilderness, named for one of history’s most influential conservationists; and the 29,000+ acre Blue Range Wilderness. Wilderness is that land “that is rare, wild places where one can retreat from civilization, reconnect with the Earth, and find healing, meaning and significance.” Wilderness areas provide for an opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation.

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at or join the conversation on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GilaNForest.