Wildlands Inc. of Rocklin has expanded a conservation bank in Sutter County that sells credits for giant garter snake habitat.
The 91.4-acre expansion increases the size of the Gilsizer Slough South Giant Garter Snake Conservation Bank to 379.4 acres. The bank is next to Wildlands’ 162-acre Slough Giant Garter Snake Preserve, completed in 2004.
Public works agencies and developers purchase “mitigation” credits from conservation banks to offset the harm to wildlife habitat caused by their development projects, a requirement for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Department of Fish and Game permits. The Gilsizer bank is approved for mitigation of projects in Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Yuba, Butte, Colusa, Tehama and Glenn counties.
Including the Gilsizer expansion, scheduled for construction in 2009, Wildlands will have restored over 2,000 acres of giant garter snake habitat in the Sacramento Valley, more than all other conservation banking entities combined. The giant garter snake is categorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species. The snakes grow to at least 63 inches and feed on small fish, tadpoles, frogs and twinks in rice paddies and wetlands.