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Upcoming Events


This is the perfect place to bring that special someone. Ride your bicycle, wear your helmets and mark your calendar.


We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their support and share all of BEC’s recent achievements and highlight the efforts to come in the new year.  The member meeting is free for members, and there will be door prizes! 
This event brings together local environmental organizations and their supporters for a night of conversation and celebration.  This reception is the final event of the This Way to Sustainability conference taking place at CSU, Chico on March 26-27.

Join us for the environmental event of the year; with an endangered species puppet parade, live music, eco-activities, good food, a rescued animal show, over 30 local organizations offering hands-on lessons for kids, and the chance to celebrate the earth with your community.


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

BEC in the News

January 21, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Butte Environmental Council representative Mark Stemen shows areas of invasive Arundo donax growth along Little Chico Creek near Humboldt Park in October. Stemen, along with other citizens and city officials, are championing a plan for removal because of major fire danger risk and environmental damage.Chico >> The city of Chico is rallying with Butte Environmental Council to eradicate an invasive weed clogging Little Chico Creek.On Tuesday, the Chico City Council will be asked to approve a joint application for a $1 million Urban Streams Restoration grant to eradicate arundo donax in the creek. “We believe that when the city has to take a step back, the community can take a step forward,” said Mark Stemen of Butte Environmental Council, which will help spearhead the eradication effort. “We pointed out the problem. We also wanted to be part of the solution.”A class of his students at Chico State University mapped Little Chico Creek last fall, noting every location of arundo, invasive species and habitat that will need to be preserved.Tags: BEC, chico, city, council, arundo, Little Chico Creek, watershedby: rdifalco

January 21, 2015


  • BEC is now acting as fiscal sponsor for Save Oroville Trees. - rdifalco

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Oroville residents need to speak out for treesSeveral of us gathered at Oroville Cemetery last Friday morning. Under old sycamores that have stood for four generations, Bill Caspers played “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes. I had tears in my eyes. Not just because he plays beautifully, but because of my friend’s reaction.Hellen Dennis sat in her wheelchair beneath an umbrella in the cold rain and cried. She felt Bill was “playing for the trees.” She and others from Save Oroville Trees have been on watch by the sycamores for two months. She’s there from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. No matter the weather, she sits in her wheelchair waving at passersby. Every day. SOT members have spoken at two City Council meetings. The mayor and council members have not been moved by our pleadings, and PG&E will cut those trees if the encroachment permit isn’t rescinded.Tags: Oroville, treesby: rdifalco

January 9, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Sightings of Rocky Mountain elk are increasing in Butte County, the Butte County Fish and Game Commission heard at its quarterly meeting in Oroville.Elk have been seen near Snag Lake at Butte Meadows and near Humbug Valley. These much bigger animals will out-compete deer, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Henry Lomeli.The commission also heard grant funding request presentations from 11 local organizations, including Barry Kirshner Wildlife Foundation, Bidwell Wildlife Rehab, Paradise Park and Rec Kids Fishing Day, Oroville Kids Fishing Day, Chico Kids Fishing Day, Paradise Lake Kids Fishing Day, Gridley Kids Fishing Day, Gaines and Associates, Lake Oroville Florida-strain Bass Project, Feather River Recreation and Park District, and Butte Environmental Council.Tags: BEC, wildlife, Butte Countyby: rdifalco

BEC News Interests

December 22, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:LaMalfa’s vote on water transfers no surpriseYour excellent Sunday editorial spoke for many of us in Butte County who are, like you, “flabbergasted” by the fact that our congressman, Republican Doug LaMalfa of Richvale, voted for House Resolution 5781, which is designed to expedite the sale of Northern California’s water to the insatiable water seekers of Southern California.Actually, LaMalfa’s vote should not cause any great surprise. When it comes to safeguarding Northern California’s water resources, LaMalfa is most definitely not “one of us.” Rather, he is one of the very elite pre-1914 senior water rights owners of the Richvale and Western Canal irrigation districts.Unwilling to limit their water rights to the legitimate purposes of irrigating their fields and raising a crop, many growers in these districts seek instead to reap immense and easy profits simply by selling and exporting water to Southern California.The Enterprise-Record would perform a tremendous public service if it would investigate and report the financial details of the recent water transfer deals that Richvale and Western Canal struck earlier this year with Southern California buyers. Exactly how much money did the districts make on these sales? And how much of that money went into the pockets of individual growers, like the LaMalfas?I strongly suspect that the answers to these questions would end the mystery surrounding LaMalfa’s support of HR 5781 and other proposals for expedited water marketing in California.— Michael Magliari, ChicoTags: water, LaMalfa, transfersby: rdifalco

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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