Lawsuit seeks endangered species protections for rare Nevada plant
The Center for Biological Diversity says the buckwheat is threatened with extinction due to a lithium mine
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize Endangered Species Act protections for the Nevada wildflower Tiehm’s buckwheat.
“Tiehm’s buckwheat is staring down the barrel of extinction, and it can’t wait one more day for Endangered Species Act protection,” said Patrick Donnelly, Great Basin director at the Center. “The Service is dragging its feet on protecting this rare wildflower and apparently needs the threat of legal action to do its job.”
The Center says the buckwheat is threatened with extinction due to a proposed lithium mine project. The buckwheat was entered for consideration under the act earlier this month.
Tiehm’s buckwheat grows on 10 acres of public land in the Silver Peak Range of Esmeralda County. According to the Center, the proposed mine, measured at 1,000 feet deep and a mile wide, would destroy 90% of the buckwheat’s native range.
“Lithium is part of our renewable energy transition, but it can’t come at the cost of extinction,” said Donnelly. “Nevada’s biodiversity is too special to sacrifice to mining, no matter how important the minerals are. We’re won’t let politics and greed win out over science and the law.”
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