Inside the movement to gain rights for ecosystems

Inside the movement to gain rights for ecosystems

News Type: Federal Source: Mountain West News
Click here to read the article: https://mountainwestnews.org/a-pittance-for-public-lands-a09a33dac444

In 2010, the Citizens United decision extended First Amendment rights to corporations. In 2014, the Hobby Lobby decision secured closely held corporations some measure of religious freedom. U.S. law has granted personhood to corporate entities, the suit argued. Why not ecological ones?

Last September, an unlikely plaintiff sued the state of Colorado: the Colorado River. The lawsuit, claiming that the state had violated the river’s right to flourish and regenerate, was filed by the environmental organization Deep Green Resistance, who brought the suit as next friends of the river. “Environmental law has failed to protect the natural environment because it accepts the status of nature and ecosystems as property,” DGR stated in the filing. The current law “merely regulat[es] the rate at which the natural environment is exploited.” They argued that the very existence of the river was at stake, and that the time had come for courts to recognize damage — not just to human users of the ecosystem, as law typically does, but to the ecosystem itself.