The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released its final recovery plan for the Giant Garter Snake. The CRC’s Industry Affairs Committee fully evaluated the earlier draft of this document to conclude that it contained no mandatory actions impacting rice growers and this final version has no significant changes. The recovery plan highlights the beneficial contributions of rice cultivation and, for this reason, references goals to keep rice farming in the Sacramento Valley.
The recovery plan suggests strategies to help protect areas where the snakes are currently found, restoring additional areas for connectivity, reducing or eliminating primary threats, and improving water quality and reliability. The nine basins identified in the recovery plan are the American, Butte, Colusa, Cosumnes-Mokelumne, Delta, San Joaquin, Sutter, Tulare, and Yolo basins.
The Giant Garter Snake is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Only about five percent of its original wetland habitat remains. More information about the Giant Garter Snake can be found here.