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Boulder County, Colo., mulls rules recognizing rights of plants

- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2013

Boulder County planners are poised to consider a proposal that would give plants rights the same rights of existence as those enjoyed by humans and animals, based on the logic that are all living, breathing entities.

Specifically, planning commission members will be called on to decide whether or not to insert this line into the county's comprehensive plan, the document that guides how development in the community will go forth: "Boulder County acknowledges the rights of all naturally occurring ecosystems and their native species populations to exist and flourish," the Denver Westword News reported.

Their meeting is set for Sept. 18.

Even if the line isn't approved for inclusion in the comp plan, environmentalists can still count the fact that the proposal made it to the planning commission stage as a win.

Comprehensive plans are legal documents that dictate local development plans. The fact that the local government would even consider granting plants an equal standing as humans, or animals, highlights the growing influence of environmentalists in America.

Such policies are already in place in Bolivia and Ecuador — and about three dozen small communities around the United States, the local newspaper reported. Sliding in a bit into Boulder's planning document that asserts "trees are people, too," — or even bringing the matter to the local governing body's attention for formal consideration — is a significant step, supporters of the Rights of Nature said, in the local report.

Opponents, meanwhile, decry the proposal as bunk and say awarding human rights to plants is a dangerous and slippery slope that will impact land use and, by logical extension, food supplies.

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