Home
Donate Sign up for e-network
CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good
ABOUT ACTION PROGRAMS SPECIES NEWSROOM PUBLICATIONS SUPPORT

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

SAVING THE LAS VEGAS BUCKWHEAT

The Las Vegas Buckwheat is a bona fide Nevada native confined to gypsum-rich soils in central and eastern Clark County and southern Lincoln County, Nevada. Unfortunately, its habitat is shared by one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States — Las Vegas. This plant is no match for the housing and commercial sprawl or unmanaged off-road vehicle use associated with the explosive growth. To date, federal and state authorities charged with protecting species have been more than willing to gamble away the chance of this plant surviving.

In a rapidly growing and transient city like Las Vegas, few members of the general public even know the Las Vegas buckwheat exists. The Center’s federal petition for listing the plant under the Endangered Species Act has helped call the public’s eye to the plant’s plight and profile — in fact, the Las Vegas Sun carried a feature article on its front page in 2008 describing the buckwheat’s plight. In the same year, the Nevada state forester announced proposed regulations to protect the plant under state law.

The only hope for the survival of the Las Vegas buckwheat is for its precious few remaining acres of habitat to be set aside and preserved. Unfortunately for the plant, a major portion of its remaining habitat is in the upper Las Vegas Wash, an area managed by the Bureau of Land Management and currently being studied for possible sale to private developers. Fortunately, in 2011 the Center reached a landmark agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to move forward in the protection process for 757 species, including the Las Vegas buckwheat.

Get the latest on our work for biodiversity and learn how to help in our free weekly e-newsletter.

KEY DOCUMENTS
2008 Federal listing petition
2008 Nevada listing petition

ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILE

ACTION TIMELINE

NATURAL HISTORY

MEDIA
Press releases
Media highlights
Search our newsroom for the Las Vegas buckwheat

RELATED ISSUES
Nevada
Mojave Desert
Protecting Native Plants
Off-road Vehicles
The Endangered Species Act

Contact: Rob Mrowka

Photo © James Reveal, courtesy Nevada Natural Heritage Project