Skip to content

1/12/2024
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The World’s Rivers, +1-970-218-8310

First in U.S. History “Guardians” Appointed To Represent “Rights of Nature” and Watershed in Colorado

Nederland, CO: Last week the Town Board of Nederland, Colorado, appointed two “guardians” to represent Boulder Creek and its watershed to be a voice for the Creek to the Town Board. The “guardian” appointment is believed to be the first in U.S. history under a “Rights of Nature” program. Back in 2021, the Town Board passed the first “Rights of Nature for Rivers” resolution in Colorado (see Denver Post story here), and this guardian appointment last week now allows the full implementation of Rights of Nature for the Boulder Creek Watershed in Nederland.

The Colorado Sun broke the story today, from a local angle, by interviewing the two guardians. Link here: https://coloradosun.com/2024/01/12/nederland-river-guardians-boulder-creek-colorado/

Inside Climate News broke the story today, from a national/international angle. Link here: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/12012024/rights-of-nature-boulder-creek-colorado/

“We’re thrilled to help get these guardians appointed and see ‘rights of nature’ fully implemented in Nederland,” said Gary Wockner whose organization, Save The Colorado/Save The World’s Rivers, spearheaded the program. “Nederland and Boulder Creek truly are wild and special places and these appointments will help keep both protected.”

The appointment of these guardians, and the underlying rights of nature program, is by Town resolution, not ordinance, and so neither the guardians, nor the Creek, have formal legal standing in local, state, or federal courts. The appointment, however, sets a U.S. precedent for the rights of nature movement that is spreading quickly across the planet. One of the first such legal designations occurred in 2017 by the New Zealand parliament for the Whanganui River, which was also followed by guardian appointments. In 2018, Gary Wockner traveled to New Zealand and took a canoe trip on the Whanganui River and interviewed Maori locals whose tribe members serve as guardians. Wockner’s story about the Whanganui is here. Wockner’s Youtube video canoeing on Whanganui is here.

“Boulder Creek is alive — you can see it move, smell hit, hear it, and touch it as it races downstream through Nederland,” said Wockner. “These guardians will help bring the Creek’s voice to Town decision-makers, making sure that the Creek’s life is as healthy and vibrant as possible.”

This press release is posted here.

***end***

 

Back To Top