Nestled among the slopes of Nevada’s Silver Peak Range are six patches of Tiehm’s buckwheat, a rare flowering plant found nowhere else in the world. Only an estimated 42,000 plants remain on 10 acres. But over the weekend, conservationists discovered that 40% of the total population had been destroyed.
“We did a field survey of damage, and it was like doing an autopsy on my best friend,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). “It’s really unfathomable destruction. It’s the most emotionally devastating thing that’s ever happened in my career.”