Location: Chaffee County
Size: 3,726 acres
Land Manager: Bureau of Land Management, State Land Board
Sparsely vegetated light brown hills with highly erosive steep slopes characterize the landscape of Droney Gulch Natural Area. On many hillsides, loose soils of the Dry Union Formation are exposed. These soils support one of the largest and best-known occurrences of the rare Brandegee's wild buckwheat (Eriogonum brandegei), a small shrub less than six inches high. This Colorado endemic is one of the rarest plant species in North America.
Brandegee's wild buckwheat is known only from nine occurrences along the Arkansas River in Chaffee and Fremont counties in central Colorado. The plant has been found only on the Dry Union Formation and lower members of the Morrison Formation. Where it occurs, numbers of individuals are high, but the species appears to be restricted to a very limited habitat type within a narrow global range.