“So, what would a radically different law-driven consciousness look like? … One in which Nature has rights … Yes, rivers, lakes … trees … animals. How would such a posture in law affect a community’s view of itself?”
– Christopher Stone, American criminal justice expert

About Rights of Nature

Only 20% of the world’s wild ecosystems (biotic communities) remain intact and undisturbed.
More than 95% of U.S. land in the lower 48 has been modified.
The wild population of vertebrates worldwide is down 60% from 50 years ago.
The world loses a species about every ten minutes …

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 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. 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. Countries like Spain, France, Portugal and Finland have already recognized a human right to a healthy environment.

Boulder Rights of Nature (BRoN) is working to get “rights of nature” established as law in one or more jurisdictions in Boulder County and beyond. (To see our draft ordinance, click here.)

We are currently researching legal frameworks such as a resolution to protect Boulder Creek Watershed. We are also pursuing a Colorado Green Amendment (like the one enacted in Pennsylvania) with Delaware Waterkeepers; a Climate Bill of Rights for Longmont (like the city of Lafayette’s) with Colorado Protectors; establishing and preserving habitat or land connectivity through biological and wildlife corridors in Boulder County with ESC (Endangered Species Coalition); halting the expansion of Gross Dam with TEG (The Environmental Group) and Prairie Protection Colorado to save prairie dogs, a keystone species.

We are researching using the concept of the Public Trust in other endeavors to protect the rights of Nature.

In all this we are alligned with Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples.

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.

We all come from Nature. Nature gives us life.

Aldo Leopold – “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

Chief Seattle, Puget Sound Suquamish – “This we know: the Earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to Earth.”

Ansel Adams – Once destroyed, Nature’s beauty cannot be repurchased at any price.