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BEC Protects

The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is a non-profit environmental organization based in Butte County, California. Our mission is to protect and defend the land, air and water of Butte County and the surrounding region through action, advocacy and education.  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

June 18, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:It's a perfect way to celebrate National Bike Month ... the 7th Annual Chico Bicycle Music Festival. It takes place Saturday, June 13th, 2015.
The Free, non-profit event was created by Founder Samantha Zangrilli to promote human-scale transportation and local musical talent.Food and drinks, including beer, will be for sale along with a free hydration station by Klean Kanteen, a face painting booth and vendors with jewelry and clothing.
For more information visit

Tags: BEC, chico, bikeby: rdifalco

June 15, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Chico >> With 5 1/2 years left to meet greenhouse gas emission targets, the city of Chico continues to struggle in certain sectors.The draft greenhouse gas emissions inventory, which is expected to be highlighted during the sustainability indicators report at the Chico City Council today, summarizes results of a high-level community-wide inventory that addresses emissions from the transportation, energy and waste sectors within city boundaries from 2005-12. Many external factors, including the economy and government regulations, are to be credited for reductions, and it remains to be seen how well the city is on track to meet its goals, said Principal Planner Brendan Vieg.some of these reductions could be reversed, said Mark Stemen, a member of the Sustainability Task Force, which has been tasked with leading implementation of the Climate Action Plan.“How do we keep people from getting back into their cars?” he said. “We need to remind people, hey, drive less. It’s good for pollution. It’s good for the planet.”Other areas of success included emissions from commercial electricity, which fell 10.6 percent, and waste to landfill, which dropped by 15.2 percent. “Watching the struggles with water has made me feel a little bit better about our inability to cut back on electricity,” he said. “People are now seeing the effects of the drought and they are acting. It’s important for people to understand they have to do the same thing when it comes to climate change.”Tags: BEC, chico, water, energy, climate change, climate action planby: rdifalco

May 22, 2015

Environmental groups want to see Bidwell Ranch become part of Bidwell Park
Seasonal 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. - 

BEC News Interests

July 2, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Oft-cited argument against fracking ban in Butte County based on misinformationOne of the key arguments made during the local fracking debate was based, at least in part, on an erroneous statement by county officials.

As a draft ordinance to prevent the practice of hydraulic fracturing was debated at public meetings early this year and last year, opponents often argued that a Butte County ban would serve a symbolic rather than regulatory role. The Butte County Department of Development Services (DDS) provided a key piece of evidence for that argument: No one, they said, had applied for a conditional use permit to drill a new gas well in more than 25 years.Tags: Butte County, fracking, waterby: rdifalco

July 2, 2015


  • County department’s statements that no gas well permits have been issued in 25 years were flat wrongWhen Butte County Department of Development Services officials told the public and county supervisors that nobody had applied for a permit to drill a gas well in more than 25 years, they were mistaken. State records show that at least five permits were granted during that time. Those were issued by the state because the county didn’t even require a permit for gas-well drilling until 2012.That’s what CN&R contributor Leslie Layton recently found out after a member of the anti-fracking group Frack-Free Butte County noticed that gas production had risen for a short time in the late ’90s (see “Cracks in the foundation,” Newslines, page 8). - rdifalco

Tags: Butte County, fracking, waterby: rdifalco

July 1, 2015


  • Despite a raging drought that has yellowed lawns and fallowed crops, orchards of almonds, one of California’s thirstiest crops, are expanding rapidly.The drought has reduced California’s water supply to an all-time low, prompting officials to mandate strict cutbacks in urban communities. Farmers, who went unaffected by those regulations, say they have made sacrifices by fallowing hundreds of thousands of acres of fields and uprooting almost countless fruit trees, especially in the arid San Joaquin Valley. - rdifalco

Tags: water, Butte County, Chico, fish, californiaby: rdifalco

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