Court Denies Conservation Group's Petition

Terminat, Dione, Saturnine Confederacy -- 21 May 2057:  The Confederate Superior Civil Court this day refused to grant conservation group Wild Space status under the Ecological Protection Act to sue the Saturnine government on behalf of the rings of Saturn.  The group's petition to create a conservation area in the rings and exclude all human industry or habitation in that area has been thrown out of court.

Likos Feldspar, a spokesperson for the Dione branch of Wild Space, expressed disappointment with the ruling, but little surprise.  "We had hoped at the very least to be given the opportunity to make our case in court for the irreplaceable value of the rings," zie stated in a press conference after the ruling was handed down.  "It is already possible to see degradation of the rings due to industrial water mining at many magnifications.  We filed our suit in anticipation of a fairer hearing after the last regional election, when the Libertarians took the Confederate Authority from the Corporatists.  We had a proposal for preservation of the rings, fair enclosure pricing and sustainable water mining that could at least have led to an acceptable compromise for all parties.  It seems our hopes were ill-founded, but we fully plan to appeal this decision to the Alliance Superior Civil Court as soon as we have access to sufficient funding.  Until then, Saturnines will just have to live with the reality that their most iconic and beautiful piece of common property, the rings of Saturn, are being stripped away by the greed of private interests.  We will also continue attempting to interest our Senators, Conciliators, and state Directors in pursuing this politically.  This is not the end."

The law under which the group attempted to sue the Confederacy, clause 21 of the Ecological Protection Act, was intended primarily to protect the environmental biodiversity of Earth's beleaguered natural habitats and allows intervenors to assume protective status over natural areas and sue those whose activities are detrimentally affecting them, obtaining injunctions to halt certain types of human activity in the area, impose pricing schemes to discourage pollution or natural resource enclosures, or negotiate sustainable development plans.  Courts have historically been averse to extending the law into space, which of course contains no ecological diversity to protect; but on a few occasions, Wild Space has been able to make the case for the inherent value for the conservation of undisturbed stellar bodies, halting several asteroid mining ventures and a proposal to develop a settlement on the Martian moon Deimos.  The group has begun looking to more ambitious targets, and has divulged plans to attempt to establish a conservation area over the entirety of Uranus, which has thus far seen minimal human intrusion.

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