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Sequoia National Monument is Affirmed

The national monument established by President Clinton to protect the last pockets of unprotected giant sequoias on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada has withstood a challenge mounted by off-road vehicle enthusiasts and others. The organizations, joined by Tulare County, had filed suit, claiming that the Antiquities Act itself, which authorizes the president to set aside areas of natural beauty or historical significance without an act of Congress, was unconstitutional. Environmental groups represented by Mike Sherwood of Earthjustice had tried to intervene in the case to bolster the government's defense of the monument, but the judge preempted that, ruling that the challenge to the monument and the law were utterly without merit and so there was no point in permitting the requested intervention. Should the plaintiffs appeal the decision, the request to intervene may be renewed.