Is there a right to life for the Colo. River?

By Reed D. Benson

When environmental activists filed a lawsuit asking a federal court in Denver to declare that the Colorado River has a legal right to exist, the media took notice of a case that was seemingly doomed to go nowhere. And, in fact, the plaintiffs, under pressure from Colorado’s attorney general, recently withdrew their case.

But the notion of a river suing the government for failing to protect the river’s rights was a man-bites-dog story that got attention, appearing in outlets from the New York Times to High Country News.

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