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May 5, 2024
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The World’s Rivers, 970-218-8310
                     Grant Wilson, Earth Law Center, 510-566-1063

Nederland, CO, proposes to “repeal” Rights of Nature and Guardians for Boulder Creek to pave way for New Dam

Boulder County, CO: At its May 7th meeting, the newly elected Town Board of Nederland, CO, is considering a vote to repeal “Rights of Nature for Boulder Creek” and repeal the appointment of “Guardians” for Boulder Creek, both to help pave the way for the permitting and construction of a new dam and reservoir on Boulder Creek. The agenda item is posted below:

https://nederlandco.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Id=1680

The highly controversial maneuver comes after the Town gained national, and even international, attention for being the first town in Colorado to pass Rights of Nature for Rivers in  2021, and then became the first town in U.S. history to appoint Guardians under a Rights of Nature program just 4 months ago.

The cause of the whiplash is the Town’s also highly controversial proposal to build a new dam and reservoir just a mile upstream on Boulder Creek, a process furthered in February of 2024 when the Town filed a diligence application (posted here) for the new “Nederland Reservoir.”  Save The World’s Rivers (formerly named Save The Colorado) responded by filing a statement of opposition to the new dam and reservoir (posted here). In its statement of opposition, Save The World’s Rivers alleges that the Town should consider water conservation, as opposed to a new dam, and more simply consider storing its water in Barker Reservoir, a large reservoir that already sits at the edge of the town and is currently used to store the Town’s water.

“Rights of Nature and the Guardians were not cited or referenced in our legal opposition statement to the new dam,” said Gary Wockner of Save The World’s Rivers. “Further, our opposition to the Town’s diligence filing clearly states the conditions that need to be met for us to drop our appeal, and those conditions are common-sense criteria asking for proof that the Town can financially afford to permit and build a new dam and reservoir as well as that the Town has fully considered other cheaper and less-damaging alternatives.”

“Nederland has been an inspiration to youth and other environmentalists across the world,” said Grant Wilson who directs the Earth Law Center and helped craft the Rights of Nature and Guardianship resolutions. “The Town’s Guardianship appointments have received accolades from the President of the Colorado State Senate for giving a voice to climate justice and environmental equality. Repealing Rights of Nature would be a stain on the Town’s legacy before the program fully manifests.”

Save The World’s River and Earth Law Center encourage the public to send emails to the Town Board at: <bot@nederlandco.org>

The Board meeting will be streamed live on Webex and there will be a public comment period prior to the agenda item. Details here.

This press release is posted here.

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