“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

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. Our current environmental regulatory laws, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, simply regulate how much can be exploited by whom.

Pollution and environmental destruction are not illegal in this country. These Acts allow permits and licenses to pollute and degrade or destroy nature – despite mounting public health hazards for all species including humans.

In the United States and here in Colorado, the result has been that after nearly four decades since these major environmental laws were enacted, the natural world is much worse off than before.

Boulder Rights of Nature is working to get rights of nature established as law in one or more jurisdictions in Boulder County and elsewhere. (For details of our draft ordinance, click here.)  In this work we are aligned with hundreds of community organizations across the country.  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.