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 process."

Environmentalists from the tree protection organization known as Greentrees knew their appeal was doomed when Judge Wampner realized that their evidentiary  pictures of 'wanton forestland destruction' were actually digitally altered photographs of giant roast beefs. Greentrees president Nathan Yale was quoted as saying "Old Sherm really screwed up."

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