|New Ruling Should Cause
Little Harm to Sequoia
Doctored pictures of giant roast beefs helped turn the case.
Following a Wyoming Federal Judge's decision yesterday to give snowmobiles renewed access to make a racket all over Yellowstone National Park, a California Federal Judge has ruled that a Clinton-era measure to keep chainsaws out of Sequoia National Park was unconstitutional.
Judge Elliot Wampner said that "the
government has run roughshod over required procedures to arrive at the
prejudged political decision to ban chainsaws from all the national parks."
His ruling noted that "All along the way, the public was left out of the
Sherman Nokes, the lawyer who entered the photographs into evidence, may face charges of lying to a federal judge. "Well, shucks," said Old Sherm, responding to our queries. "Everybody knows that chainsaws are bad for forests. That's a no-brainer. It's just that, well, we needed some pictures, and I just didn't have it in my heart to take those beautiful trees down. So I came across these giant roast beefs and, well, maybe it was a bad decision."
Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton welcomed the ruling, saying in a statement, "In Sequoia, and indeed in all National Parks, I have advocated a common sense solution for chainsaw use that protects resources while also allowing appropriate access for enjoyment by the public. Some people love their chainsaws as much as others love their trees, and we see no reason why these two groups cannot coexist."
©2004, Mark Hoback