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Upcoming Events


Join us for the environmental event of the year; with children's parade, live music, eco-activities, good food, a rescued animal show, hands-on lessons for kids, and the chance to celebrate the earth with your community.


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


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.


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


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

BEC in the News

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

April 16, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., ChicoBag, Klean Kanteen and Butte Environmental Council will celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day at the Sierra Nevada Big Room with a premier of a new film, “The Little Things” at 5 p.m. on April 22. Prior to the feature film, two short films will be shown: “The Big Pick” and “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables.”The Earth Day Movie Night is an Earth Day celebration intended to leave attendees inspired by environmental activists, all while supporting environmental organizations and sustainable businesses.A $5 donation is encouraged and students get in free with valid student ID. All proceeds benefit members of the Environmental Coalition of Butte County. Raffle prizes will be provided.In order to encourage all attendees to travel to this event on their bicycle, there will be a free and secure bike valet located directly outside of the entrance to the Big Room, courtesy of Chico Velo.Tags: BEC, chico, Earth Dayby: rdifalco

April 13, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Butte Environmental Council will host a scientific exploration of Big Chico Creek in a series of three field trips. The first outing will take place at the mouth of Big Chico Creek Sunday. Lucas Ross Merz of Sacramento River Preservation Trust and Jennifer Patten of Altacal Audubon Society will be the featured scientists.During the outings in April, May, and June participants will experience an upstream migration along Big Chico Creek; beginning at the confluence with the Sacramento River, through the valley and urban section, and ending with a hike to the forested spring headwaters.

Each event will focus on the scientific wonders from two fields of study to deepen understanding and appreciation of the creek.The is a free event, however space is limited and participants need to register at or call 891-6424.Tags: BEC, Big Chico Creek, sacramento river, water, watershedby: rdifalco

BEC News Interests

April 20, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Oroville >> After two months of work, the Butte County staff is bringing back a fracking-related ordinance for the Board of Supervisors to consider during a public hearing Tuesday.Unlike the original draft that died during the board’s Feb. 10 meeting, the proposal doesn’t address whether to ban the use of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, to stimulate the production of oil and natural gas wells, according to Tim Snellings, director of the county development services department.Instead, the proposed ordinance calls for banning the storage or disposal in the county of the byproducts or waste generated by the fracking process.Fracking has taken place in Colusa and Glenn counties, as well as the Sutter Buttes, Garcia said. He said the county’s fresh water supply is too important to risk by the storage or disposal of fracking byproducts.Dave Garcia, a spokesperson for Frack-Free Butte County, said it would be very smart for the board to not allow the disposal or storage of fracking byproducts.Fracking could still possibly take place in Butte County if the ordinance passes, Snellings said. However, the storage and disposal prohibition could present an issue for anyone wishing to use hydraulic fracturing on a well in Butte County. Snellings said storage and disposal would have to be considered when a potential well operators sought a conditional-use permit.Tags: Butte County, fracking, waterby: rdifalco

April 1, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered cities and towns across California to cut water use by 25% as part of a sweeping set of mandatory drought restrictions, the first in state history.The directive comes more than a year after Brown asked for a 20% voluntary cut in water use that most parts of the state have failed to attain, even as one of the most severe modern droughts drags into a fourth year. It also came on the day that water officials measured the lowest April 1 snowpack in more than 60 years of record-keeping in the Sierra Nevada.Emphasizing that the drought could persist, Brown said Californians must change their water habits. “It's a different world,” he said. “We have to act differently.”The state will partner with local agencies to remove 50 million square feet of grass — the equivalent of about 1,150 football fields — and replace it with drought-tolerant landscaping.Tags: water, california, droughtby: rdifalco

April 1, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:he agency that regulates the oil industry in California is — by its own admission — in disarray. After a series of embarrassing disclosures about regulatory lapses that allowed drilling in protected aquifers, officials at the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources are trying to untangle years of chaotic operation.But the fixes aren’t happening fast enough to satisfy many state lawmakers. In recent weeks, elected officials have publicly chided the agency, launched their own investigations and introduced at least a half-dozen bills that aim to recast DOGGR’s mission to prioritize protecting public health and the environment over promoting energy development.“We are not going to advance one industry over the health and safety of other industries and the citizens of California.”Pavley introduced a bill that would overhaul DOGGR and the agency’s troubled Underground Injection Control program. It would require disclosure of records that detail the chemicals and techniques used to extract oil and the waste those operations officials admitted last summer that for years they inadvertently allowed oil companies to inject wastewater from fracking and other oil production operations into hundreds of disposal wells in protected aquifers, a violation of federal law.Tags: water, california, oil, gas, fracking, DOGGRby: rdifalco

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