Westervelt Ecological Services Conservation Bank Receives Approval from California Department of Fish and Game



Save The Snakes!

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has approved the Sutter Basin Conservation Bank in Sutter County California. The bank, owned and managed by Westervelt Ecological Services, preserves and protects over 429 acres of managed marsh and associated upland habitats for the benefit of the Giant Garter Snake (Thamnophis gigas), an endangered and threatened species. Previously approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the bank was recently amended to add DFG as a signatory agency. With DFG approval, the bank now provides both federal and state-approved habitat for clients seeking to mitigate for impacts to giant garter snake habitat.

“We are very happy to receive DFG approval of Sutter Basin,” says Greg Sutter, Executive Vice-President of Westervelt Ecological Services. “With the approval of both agencies, we can now offer our customers a cost-efficient solution that complies with federal and state law.”

Completed in 2008, the site was created by converting a former rice field into six, independently managed, slough-type features in the landscape. Water levels in each cell are managed seasonally to optimize utilization for the giant garter snake, including adjusting water levels for the juvenile snakes to avoid predation.

Historically, the giant garter snake inhabited natural wetlands throughout the Central Valley. Today, however, much of the snake’s historic habitat has been drained and converted to agricultural uses as well as residential and commercial development.

Snakes now occupy agricultural wetlands, managed and natural wetlands and the uplands adjacent to these areas. Sutter Basin Conservation Bank offers year-round habitat to the snakes and since its creation, has documented the presence of dozens of snakes on site.

Sutter Basin Conservation Bank is permitted to sell Giant Garter Snake mitigation within a service area that includes parts of Butte County, Glenn County, Yuba County, Sutter County, Placer County, and Sacramento County. Projects making potential impacts within this area may learn more by contacting Travis Hemmen at (916) 646-3644 ext. 204 or email at [email protected].

As part of The Westervelt Company, a stewardship organization headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Westervelt Ecological Services was established in 2006 to reflect the organization’s sustainability mission through species conservation and wetlands mitigation banking. With primary offices in Sacramento, California, and Auburn, Alabama, Westervelt Ecological Services is led by a team of well-respected professionals with lengthy backgrounds in ecological restoration and turnkey mitigation projects. Visit www.wesmitigation.com to learn more.