“Without the soaring birds, without the great forests, the free-flowing streams, the sight of the clouds by day, and the stars by night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human.” – Thomas Berry, The Great Work
Boulder Rights of Nature is initiating a campaign to establish legal protections of the Boulder Creek and Coal Creek Watersheds. Rivers hold intrinsic rights to run clear and unpolluted and with adequate flow to sustain native species in a healthy ecosystem. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Extirpated from Boulder County.
Wild Earth Guardians photo.
Extirpated from Boulder County. About 1,500 grizzlies are left in the lower 48 states. Of these, about 800 live in Montana.
Grows in scattered subalpine groves at high altitude in arid regions of Colorado. It lives up to 3000 years. The species are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
Northern River Otter
Preble's Jumping Mouse
State critically imperiled and listed threatened under federal Endangered Species Act.
U.S. F&W photo.
Imperiled in Boulder County.
Indigenous to North America, extirpated from Boulder County. Pronghorn are the fastest land mammal of North America and inhabit grasslands.
Once distributed statewide, the Gray Wolf is now gone from Colorado. The last were killed by about 1940. Colorado Parks & Wildlife photo.
Black-tailed Prairie Dog
A prairie dog peers out from a burrow in a field near Weld County Road 3 July 2017. Candidate for listing under ESA.
State critically imperiled, extirpated and listed endangered under ESA. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is breeding the Black-footed Ferret in captivity in northern Colorado.
Gunnison Sage Grouse
Gunnison CO Only about 4,000 breeding individuals remain. The species now occurs only in 8 small populations in SW Colorado & SW Utah, representing 7% of its historic distribution.
Extirpated from Boulder County. Current parks and open space management plans do not provide direction for recovering locally or anywhere in southeast Colorado. The Bison is the national mammal.
Wintering numbers have declined 95% in eastern Boulder County since 1990, and there are no plans in place to protect their foraging habitat.
Critically imperiled in Boulder County. Current parks and open space management plans do not provide sufficient breeding habitat to sustain nesting populations.
About Rights of Nature
The rights of nature movement has taken off around the world since Ecuador recognized nature’s rights in its constitution in 2008. Yet in most places in the United States nature is still treated as property. Legally it is a commodity.
Pollution and environmental destruction are not illegal in this country. Our current environmental regulatory laws (dating from 40 years ago) such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act simply regulate how much can be exploited by whom. They only offer an illusion of environmental protection in the U.S. These laws actually authorize and legalize the destruction of the natural world.
These Acts allow permits and licenses to pollute and degrade or destroy nature – despite mounting public health hazards for all species including humans. Countries like Spain, France, Portugal and Finland have already recognized a human right to a healthy environment.
Boulder Rights of Nature is working to get rights of nature established as law in one or more jurisdictions in Boulder County and elsewhere. In this work we are aligned with hundreds of community organizations across the country. (To see our draft ordinance, click here.) For example, we are researching legal frameworks to protect Boulder Creek and Coal Creek with their naturally occurring species.
We believe that living in balance and harmony with nature is essential for life and well-being for all species, and for the integral functioning of the ecological systems that give life to all species. We want a positive future, not an impoverished one.
We all come from Nature. Nature gives us life.