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Nevada reviews possible mining threat to unique wildflower

This June 1, 2019 photo shows the rare desert wildflower Tiehm's buckwheat in the Silver Peak Range about 120 miles southeast of Reno, Nev., the only place it is known to exist in the world. The center has filed a petition to list it as an endangered species and is suing to U.S. Bureau of Land Management to try to protect it against mining operations in Nevada that the center says could lead to the flower's extinction. (Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity via AP)

RENO, Nev. — Nevada is launching a comprehensive review of the status of a rare desert wildflower that isn’t known to exist anywhere else in the world.

The move comes after conservationists sued last month to try to block mining exploration they say would wipe out the Tiehm’s buckwheat.

The Center for Biological Diversity also has filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the flower as an endangered species.

The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says officials have been monitoring the status of the plant since it was discovered in the Silver Peak Range in 1985.

Department Director Bradley Crowell says it hadn’t faced significant threats in the past, but that’s changed with new interest in mining exploration for lithium deposits in the area.

Scott Sonner, The Associated Press

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