Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Tiehm’s Buckwheat Endangered Species Act Listing Proposal

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to list Tiehm’s buckwheat, a low-growing perennial herb endemic to Nevada, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service found that designating critical habitat for the plant is prudent but not currently determinable because more information is needed to conduct an economic assessment of potential impacts to the species.

Tiehm’s buckwheat has an extremely restricted range, with only one known population comprised of eight subpopulations scattered across a 3-square mile area in western Nevada’s Silver Peak Range. All of the land where the plant is found is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Primary threats to the species include predation by animals eating the plants (herbivory), mining, off-highway vehicles and grazing. Climate change may also impact the species, and the Service has determined that the plant is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range.

In 2019, surveys identified 43,921 plants in the Tiehm’s buckwheat population. A significant amount of herbivory occurred the following year, which resulted in loss or damage to at least 50 percent of plants in the subpopulations, with two subpopulations suffering mortality of all plants.

It is not yet known if herbivory events like the one in 2020 occur periodically or if abnormally dry conditions made food and moisture sources scarcer for native small mammals in the area. Climate change could impact the frequency and severity of future herbivory events because future conditions will likely be warmer and drier.

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.

The proposed rule to list the species as endangered under the ESA is available to review on the Service’s website at: It will be published in the Federal Register later this month. A 60-day public comment period will open upon publication in the Federal Register. The Service will consider comments from all interested parties received during the open public comment period. The proposal and information on how to submit comments can be found on by searching under docket number FWS–R8–ES–2020–0017 after the proposed rule publishes.

Requests for a public hearing on the proposed rule must be submitted in writing within 45 days after publication in the Federal Register and submitted by U.S. mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2020–0017, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

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