Court upholds Clinton’s orders

By Mark Sherman
Saturday October 19, 2002


WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Friday upheld former President Clinton’s orders protecting 2 million acres of federal land in five western states through the creation of national monuments. 

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed lower court rulings that dismissed challenges to Clinton’s designation of the monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which allows presidents to act without congressional approval to safeguard objects of historic and scientific interest. 

The monuments affected are: the Grand Canyon-Parashant, Ironwood Forest and Sonoran Desert national monuments in Arizona; Giant Sequoia National Monument in California; the Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado; the Cascades-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon; and the Hanford Reach in Washington. 

Timber interests, recreation groups and Tulare County, Calif., challenged the Giant Sequoia monument in California. 

The Mountain States Legal Defense Fund of Denver, a conservative public interest law firm, led the legal fight against the monuments in the other states. 

Both lawsuits argued that Clinton exceeded his authority in creating the monuments.