U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Finding on Tiehm’s Buckwheat Endangered Species Act Listing Petition

Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Finding on Tiehm’s Buckwheat Endangered Species Act Listing Petition

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that Tiehm’s buckwheat, a low growing perennial herb endemic to Nevada, warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service will submit a proposed rule to list the species by September 30, 2021.

Today’s announcement is part of a settlement agreement between the Service and the Center for Biological Diversity. The agreement required the agency to submit an ESA finding for the species on or before May 31, 2021.

Tiehm’s buckwheat are only found on approximately 10 acres of public land in the Rhyolite Ridge area of western Nevada’s Silver Peak Range. The land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The plant grows in soil that is high in lithium and boron, which makes its habitat of high interest for mineral development. There is an active mining claim over most of the area where Tiehm’s buckwheat occur, which is held by Ioneer USA Corporation. The Service, BLM and Ioneer are discussing the conservation needs of the species and the company’s proposed lithium mine.

Tiehm’s buckwheat have blueish gray leaves and pale yellow flowers that bloom from May to June and turn red with age. Seeds ripen in late June through mid-July. In 2020, more than 50 percent of existing Tiehm’s buckwheat plants, including those at an experimental seedling transplant site, were damaged or destroyed by herbivory from small mammals.

The notice announcing the Tiehm’s buckwheat ESA finding will publish in the Federal Register on June 4, 2021. A species status assessment for the plant is available online at https://www.regulations.gov/ under docket number FWS–R8–ES–2020–0017. The notice is on public view at the Federal Register today - https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/current.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit https://www.fws.gov/reno or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.