Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rocks need lawyers too!

You can't make this stuff up.  
But then, you had to see it coming, it just sounded too goofy for anyone to take seriously.  
Especially not your city, or any government!  

Have you heard of a legal theory called, the Rights of Nature?  Neither had I.  A non-profit group I had never heard of, The Oswego Lake Watershed Council, turned in proposals for Sensitive Lands code changes and referenced this movement as part of their mission.  Their talking points to the Planning Commission on 10/13 sound like the warm, fuzzy eco-centric stuff we have all gotten used to.  On their website I saw that the City of Lake Oswego and both LO junior high schools are partners with the organization.  And then I read about the "Rights of Nature."  
The legal theories are pretty wild, but there it is, on pg. 53 of 66 of the Staff Report for the 10/13 Planning Commission meeting. 

The Oswego Lake Watershed Council is not a group that speaks for most everyone in the city.  However, by attempting to control or protect private land within the watershed, they are arrogant and highly intrusive.  Since the ecosystem is their major concern, to criticize the group seems somehow politically incorrect.  It isn't. One can care about the earth AND property rights at the same time.  The OLWC should be clear about it's agenda concerning the Rights of Nature and Mother Earth.  

NOTE: USC presents this for information only and does not support or agree with organizations and theories mentioned below.

Rights of Nature is the recognition and honoring that trees, oceans, animals, mountains have rights just as human beings have rights.
-    Rather than treating nature as property under the law, rights of nature acknowledges that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.
-    We are individuals and organizations committed to creating human communities that respect and defend the rights of Nature.
-    We know that when we disrespect and harm Nature we diminish ourselves and impoverish our children. A human right to life and dignity is meaningless without water and wilderness.  
Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal 
"We the people assume the authority to conduct an Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. We will investigate cases of environmental destruction, which violate the Rights of Nature.”   Prosecutor for the Earth at the first Permanent Rights of Nature Tribunal in Quito, Ecuador.   

Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth
(5)  Mother Earth and all beings are entitled to all the inherent rights recognized in this Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as may be made between organic and 
inorganic beings, species, origin, use to human beings, or any other status.

See also Wikipedia, Rights of Nature.


  1. What?????????????????
    This is zany!

  2. You can't turn your back on advocacy groups. This is how the bike lobby and other groups gained so much power. Special interest groups have more power despite their size than a group of average citizens of any number. It is also interesting to see how any NGO is funded since many depend upon government grants.