Eijsden-Margraten, a Dutch municipality with about 30,000 residents, voted to have nature "have its say" in court before licenses to construct housing are granted. Interests of nature and wildlife will be represented by a guardian, "which could be a combination of scientists, environmental organizations and perhaps artists,” according to the mayor. Apparently, the proponents believe the town “is following in the footsteps of 30 states in the United States and two districts in Northern Ireland which have made all nature and wildlife a legal entity in court.”
I’m not aware of any such rulings in the U.S. nor can I find one, though elsewhere this has been the case and it’s not inconceivable that the march to insanity has made footfall somewhere in there. There are examples elsewhere though. "The New Zealand parliament voted to give legal personhood to a river and provided for the appointment of two guardians to represent it. In India a court extended legal personhood to the Ganges and Yamuna rivers and the glaciers that feed them."
Domestically, the impetus for such things here seems to have been set in 1972 by the late Christopher Stone of the University of Southern California law school:
It is not inevitable, nor is it wise, that natural objects should have no rights to seek redress in their own behalf. It is no answer to say that streams and forests cannot have standing because streams and forests cannot speak. Corporations cannot speak either; nor can states, estates, infants, incompetents, municipalities or universities. Lawyers speak for them, as they customarily do for the ordinary citizen with legal problems... Protection from this will be advanced by making the natural object a party to an injunctive settlement. Even more importantly, we should make it a beneficiary of money awards.
Another law professor, Hong Kong based “bioethicist” Eric C. Ip, has argued much the same with the endorsement of The Lancet:
The right to a healthy environment cannot be found in the texts of important environmental treaties, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. Nevertheless, this right has been enshrined in the constitutions of over 100 nations, located mostly in Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and in regional treaties ratified by at least 130 countries. Such widespread recognition constitutes evidence that this right is becoming part of customary international law.
Per the Stone “guardianship” proposal of the rocks, streams, rivers, forests, wildlife (and Ip’s "the planet"), which the Dutch town accepts, the “guardians” not only will be engaged to represent these entities, but will be entrusted to manage any damages that the administrative authority or court awards -- forever, it seems. No longer will the people through their elected representatives decide such things.
Personally, I prefer the part of Genesis where God grants man dominion over the fish, the fowl, the cattle, and all the earth to a system in which publicly-funded-in-perpetuity guardians of rocks, rivers, streams -- indeed, all of the “interconnected planet” -- have dominion over man.