Most environmentalists believe that nature has a right to exist for its own sake, but that's not how the law works in our country.
In the United States, nature is defensible only if a human will miss the forest, species, or clean water when it is gone. To use the law, a human must first prove harm to their person.
If that proverbial tree falls in the woods and no human cares, no laws were broken. But if a tree falls and the hiker who depended on its shade is harmed, the U.S. legal system may provide some relief.