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The holiday season is always a time for gratitude and reflection; the new year, a time for setting our goals and expectations of ourselves. In keeping with gratitude and goals, we honor our BEC Angels in January, and share our stories of goals set, and goals achieved.


BEC, the City of Chico, and many community partners are gearing up for the annual Bidwell Park & Chico Creeks Cleanup .


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BEC Protects

The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is a non-profit environmental organization based in Chico, California. Our mission is to preserve and conserve the Earth’s natural resources, with particular attention to environmental issues in Northern California. BEC was formed in 1975 and throughout its 37 years, BEC has had a significant voice in shaping the environment and policies of Butte County and beyond.

BEC in the News

December 19, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:A discussion about water issues, including statewide plans for groundwater sustainability, will be presented by the Butte Environmental Council tonight, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Chico Grange.The grange is located at 2775 Old Nord Ave. To get there, take East Avenue west toward the railroad tracks. Before crossing the tracks, take a right at Old Nord Avenue. Speakers include Debbie Davis, community and rural affairs adviser from Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research. Marty Dunlap is local attorney and water issues mediator.

Paul Gosselin in the executive director of the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation.Tags: BEC, chico, water, groundwaterby: rdifalco

December 16, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:The rainy season is here, however, California is long from being clear of the drought. It would need to rain for 150 days before the state has recovered from the past several years of drought, said Debbie Davis, rural affairs adviser and drought liaison with Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research.Davis shared an update at a forum about groundwater last week in Chico, held by the Butte Environmental Council.Groundwater has been the state’s water bank, which is appropriate in times of drought, she said. However, there are problems when there is not enough water put back into the ground.OThe groundwater plans for the future won’t do anything to help with the current drought, said Paul Gosselin, Butte County’s executive director of Water and Resource Conservation. Water attorney and environmental water advocate Marty Dunlap urged the public to keep involved as the plans unfold.

“The danger is that the state of California has been managing our surface water since 1914, and hasn’t done such a great job.”Tags: water, california, BECby: rdifalco

November 5, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:CHICO >> Twenty-five trees are scheduled for removal, after the Chico City Council upheld a decision by the Bidwell Park & Playground Commission on Tuesday.
Councilors voted 5-2 with Tami Ritter and Scott Gruendl dissenting to uphold the granting of a permit to remove 25 Yarwood sycamore trees and replace them with varieties that are better suited for the area. The Butte Environmental Council had appealed the permit approval, which stemmed from a request by the Mission Santa Fe Community of Homeowners and its 47 encompassing households.Butte Environmental Council appealed on the basis that the project has undergone "inadequate environmental review because the cumulative effects on the urban forest have not been discussed."
"If we compartmentalize tree discussions without first addressing overall impacts we are doing the community and the urban forest a disservice," Commissioner Mark Herrera told the council Tuesday.Tags: BEC, chico, treesby: rdifalco

BEC News Interests

December 19, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Department of Water Resources officials today unveiled additional changes to Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the twin tunnels, including elimination of the northern pumping plants at the proposed water intakes on the Sacramento River.Delta advocates weren't impressed, responding that the "fatal" flaws of the water diversion project remain, including taking water from the Sacramento River above the Delta, violating the Clean Water Act and hastening the extinction of Central Valley salmon and other species.Tunnel opponents once again called upon Governor Brown to “abandon the doomed project” and instead embrace a "sustainable water solution that is fair to all Californians." That solution includes reducing Delta water exports, strengthening Delta levees, and investing in regional water independence through sustainable programs.Tags: bay, delta, water, californiaby: rdifalco

December 3, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:You can’t manage what you don’t measure.California faces a possible fourth consecutive year of drought.According to the University of California Cooperative Extension Service, nearly 57,000 wells provide groundwater for agricultural and domestic uses in the five northern Central Valley counties of Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Butte and Colusa.“Declining groundwater levels in foothill domestic wells and in older wells located outside urban areas concern us,” says Paul Gosselin, director of the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation.Adds Butte County Environmental Health Director Brad Banner, “We’ve seen a lot of well repairs and deepenings, where pumps are lowered to reach water levels.” Chico’s crown jewel, Bidwell Park, a popular recreation area for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, is not immune to drought impacts. “At the Five Mile Recreation Area we’ve struggled with a localized drought problem,” says Park and Natural Resource Manager Dan Efseaff.“We had to lower the well 40 feet this summer,” says Mr. Efseaff. “Over the past few years we’ve transitioned part of the turf to native grasses, sedges, and native forest to reduce irrigation needs. We hope to reduce water needs in the park by 20 percent.” Mr. Efseaff also points to the installation of new waterless urinals in restrooms.Tags: no_tagby: rdifalco

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