ENDANGERED GIANT GARTER SNAKE PERMANENTLY PROTECTED BY WESTERVELT ECOLOGICAL SERVICES (10/07/15)

July 8, 2015 -- Merced County, Calif. – Grasslands Mitigation Bank (GRMB), an environmental project being developed by Westervelt Ecological Services, has been approved by state and federal natural resource agencies to restore Giant Garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) (GGS) habitat and seasonal wetlands on 281 acres in Merced County.

“We are excited about the approval of GRMB because it adds to a larger matrix of conservation projects supported by government, local, non-profit and private entities.” explained Greg Sutter, Executive Vice President of Westervelt Ecological Services. “Volta Wildlife Area is directly adjacent to GRMB and supports a sustaining population of GGS and provides functional habitat value and connectivity between GRMB and the nearby conserved lands.”

GRMB is the only project in the area offering mitigation credits to offset impacts to the GGS and seasonal wetlands regulated under the Clean Water Act; GRMB is approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The GRMB service areas include portions of San Joaquin, Merced, Kings, Kern Fresno, Madera, Contra Costa, Alameda, Tulare and Stanislaus counties, and will assist in fulfilling the species mitigation needs of various infrastructure and development projects, including flood protection and water supply.

GRMB is owned by Westervelt Ecological Services, a private company, and will be protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement, funded by a non-wasting endowment, and managed to provide year-round habitat for GGS and many other wetland-dependent species.

To learn more about the site and credits available contact Travis Hemmen at (916) 646-3644 ext. 204 or email at themmen@westervelt.com.

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About Westervelt Ecological Services: Providing conservation on a landscape scale is the mission of Westervelt Ecological Services. A division of The Westervelt Company, a 131 year-old land stewardship organization headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Westervelt Ecological Services offers mitigation banking solutions for developers and businesses who need to mitigate impacts on wetlands or species. To learn more visit www.wesmitigation.com.

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