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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 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

November 5, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:One of the first items will be a public hearing for an appeal of the Bidwell Park and Playground's decision to approve the removal and replanting of 25 trees on Mission Ranch Boulevard and Holly Avenue. Butte Environmental Council is appealing the permit approval, which stemmed from a request by the Mission Santa Fe Community of Homeowners and its 47 encompassing households.
Butte Environmental Council is appealing on the basis that the project has undergone "inadequate environmental review because the cumulative effects on the urban forest have not been discussed."
Tags: BEC, chico, tree, removal, councilby: rdifalco

BEC News Interests

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

December 2, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:A stand of old trees on Feather River Boulevard was the source of a protest Monday morning to keep PG&E from cutting the landmarks down. The trees are among 200 being cut down because they’re reportedly hazards to a major PG&E gas transmission line that runs down the boulevard.Oroville >> A group of about eight people hoping to save a stand of tall old trees in front of the Oroville Cemetery on Feather River Boulevard were successful for a day, but probably not in the long run.The trees are among more than 200 PG&E is in the process of removing in Oroville along a gas transmission line. The tree roots reportedly pose a hazard to the line.Crews were set to take down the trees in front of the cemetery Monday morning, but weren’t able to begin.At around 7 a.m., Alberta Tracy, Allen Young and several other people staked claim to the trees with cars parked at the curb and signs on the trees and cars.

Tracy said the trees are more than 100 years old and historical.PG&E spokesman Shaun Maccoun told this newspaper later Monday that the crews will likely return to remove the trees Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.“We’re only removing trees that pose a risk to safety,” he said. “When you relocate a pipe, the process is dangerous. From a safety standpoint, this is the safest thing for the public for us to do.”Tags: no_tagby: rdifalco

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