The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is undertaking a comprehensive review to determine if enhanced protection under state law is needed for the rare Tiehm buckwheat, a native plant species that lives exclusively within the Silver Peak Range in Esmeralda County, the department announced.
“This unique species of desert wildflower has not been found anywhere else in the world, and is currently only found in particular geologic conditions in Nevada’s Silver Peak Range,” the department said in a statement.
Since discovery of the Tiehm buckwheat in 1985, the Nevada Division of Natural Heritage has monitored the status and risks to the Tiehm buckwheat in its native habitat. Until recently, the species did not face any significant impacts in its remote location in Nevada.
In recent years, however, there has been increased interest in and exploration for mining of critical minerals, such as lithium, in the Buckwheat’s limited known habitat.
Given these developments, the Nevada Division of Forestry will be reviewing the need to further protect the Tiehm buckwheat under Nevada Administrative Code Chapter 527. The Division of Forestry is responsible for establishing protections, as needed, for Nevada’s threatened or endangered plant species.
A schedule of public meetings to review the status of the species will be announced soon, the state said.
“Nevada is home to more than 150 plant species that live exclusively in our State, including the one-of-a-kind Tiehm buckwheat,” Bradley Crowell, director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said in a statement. “As part of our mission, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is committed to protecting Nevada’s precious native species and sustaining our diverse biological heritage. Input from the public and the use of the best available science is critical to this process.”