Sacramento Airport Buys 300 Acres of Giant Garter Habitat

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento County Airport has been buying hundreds of acres of wetland to serve as protected habitat for the federally threatened Giant Garter Snake, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The airport, which had been plowing dirt into wetlands illegally for years, was ordered to do so by federal wildlife officials. Buying so-called “mitigation land” is apparently common in the area, where demand for land for housing runs up against protected wildlife areas. Normally, developers buy three acres of mitigation land for every acre they develop; the airport, because they had been bad, was ordered to buy five acres for every acre they filled in, for a total of 300 acres (121.4 ha).