Support BEC

Help The World
Click Here


Upcoming Events


If you shop at the Grocery Outlet, you know that their voluminous wine selection can be pretty daunting. Here's your chance to unlock the Wine Mysteries of the Grocery Outlet and help support BEC at the same time!


Join in for this hands-on workshop focused on replacing your water intensive lawn with wildlife friendly native plants.  This is a free workshop co-hosted by Altacal Audubon Society and Butte Environmental Council.  


BEC is proud to be co-hosting with KZFR a visit from author, educator, and renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben at the Chico Masonic Family Center 


Join in for an upstream migration along Big Chico Creek, from the confluence with the Sacramento River to the forested spring headwaters.


*Sign up for our montly Newsletter

Newsletter Archive

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 40 years, BEC has had a significant voice in shaping the environment and policies of Butte County and beyond.

BEC in the News

May 22, 2015


  • Environmental groups want to see Bidwell Ranch become part of Bidwell ParkSeasonal cattle-grazing makes up the bulk of the activity at Bidwell Ranch, an expansive reserve downslope of Upper Bidwell Park. But that could change if the Chico City Council gets behind the request of a coalition of heavy-hitting local environmental groups.As John Merz put it in a recent city meeting, the request is straightforward: that “Bidwell Ranch become a formal part of Bidwell Park.”But that plan has hit snags over the past decade, and Merz says local environmental groups—Friends of Bidwell Park, Butte Environmental Council, Altacal Audubon Society, the Sierra Club Yahi Group, the California Native Plant Society’s Mount Lassen chapter and the Bidwell Ranch Committee—have come to the conclusion that the best option for the 750-acre property is adding it to the city’s largest park. - rdifalco

Tags: no_tagby: rdifalco

May 22, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:The fourth annual veterans plant giveaway is planned 9 a.m. to noon Monday by the Veterans Garden Project at Butte Environmental Council’s Humboldt Community Garden, Humboldt and El Monte roads. Hundreds of plant starts have been grown in the Butte Creek Canyon greenhouse and will be given away free to any veteran and their families who stop by the garden. Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, lettuce and many more starts will be available for veterans to take home for gardening.The plant giveaway is offered twice a year, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.Tags: gardenby: rdifalco

April 22, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Oroville >> After a relatively brief public hearing Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that would ban the storage or disposal of fracking waste within the county.The vote regarding the waste generated by injecting fluids into the ground to stimulate oil and natural gas production was 4-1.The ordinance defines key fracking terms, creates a land-use category about storing or disposing fracking waste or byproduct and then bans such storage and disposal within the county.Six of the seven members of the public that commented on the proposal openly supported the ordinance. Members of the Butte Environmental Council and Frack-Free Butte County spoke.Tags: BEC, fracking, water, Butte Countyby: rdifalco

BEC News Interests

May 12, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:In the past, many people believed that the areas where Butte Creek crosses over exposed areas of the Tuscan formation high in the foothills was a signficant source of recharge for groundwater in the Sacramento Valley.Butte County is moving ahead to learn more about groundwater recharge. Does the water found in wells in the valley come from snowpack? Or is the water from rain on flat land?This information could help water leaders understand where important groundwater recharge zones are located.Water that falls in the valley and foothills in the form of rain will be heavier, because the individual oxygen molecules contain more electrons than in water from snow. Studying the chemistry of water underground helps researchers learn the origin of the water.The county Department of Water and Resource Conservation recently asked for bids on an isotope analysis study.The previous work, at a cost of $2.9 million from state Proposition 50 funds, looked into the Tuscan Aquifer, a significant source of groundwater in the Sacramento Valley. The research found that the upper foothill area was not a significant source of groundwater recharge, as had been previously believed.The prior theory had been that the creeks were a major source of recharge where they cross rock outcroppings that are part of the Tuscan formation.Tags: Butte County, water, Tuscan Aquiferby: rdifalco

May 6, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:We all want what we can’t have and, due to California’s drought, water has become one of those things.House Resolution 1060, the “Sacramento Valley Water Storage and Restoration Act of 2015,” which stated that the resolution would advance Sites Reservoir by fast-tracking the feasibility studies and green-lighting the project if the outcomes of the studies are positive.Regarding the proposed Sites Reservoir — which would be located in Colusa County — it might hold 1.8 million acre-feet of water if it’s ever completed. However, the average yield each year is estimated at between 400,000 to 500,000 acre-feet. With half the yield directed toward environmental uses, that leaves between 200,000 to 250,000 acre-feet for other users.And of those acre-feet, 250,000 is being for by Proposition 1, which authorizes $7.545 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, with the remainder being paid by water users.As it gains momentum, the JPA is soliciting subscriptions to the project and asking water districts in the state if they are interested in financing final studies for the project and buying water in the future.Tags: no_tagby: rdifalco

April 30, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:PG&E seems to be taking a more measured approach to tree removals in Chico and Durham after a public relations disaster in Oroville. But it’s still uncertain whether everybody has learned from that mistake.So far, all signs are promising. The utility company is going slow, getting Butte County officials involved in discussions, hosting public meetings and so far has kept the lawyers and courts out of the picture.Most important, though, we finally hear PG&E expressing its remorse for the way things went in Oroville, where citizens guarded the trees for months before the protesters were finally removed with the help of a court order and police.Note the absence of the words “tree removals.” In the two-page press release, “tree removals” weren’t mentioned once. There was nothing saying that 32 trees would be removed along the Midway between Durham and Chico, or that 85 trees would be cut down along Comanche Creek.Well, dozens of residents got up and spoke about tree removals, whether that was the main aim of the meetings or not. It’s good for people to speak up. Otherwise, we might see another Oroville clearcut.Walnut Creek was scheduled to lose 250 city-owned trees, but now that number is six. Danville was going to lose 200 trees but now will lose one. And so forth.Tags: Trees, PG&E, Chico, Butte Countyby: rdifalco

BEC's news feed is generated using Diigo, a social bookmarking tool.  You can see our full listing of news articles or subscribe to the RSS feed by visiting our Diigo group of BEC News Interests.