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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit!

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About Us


BEC Rally on County's General Plan, 2010The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is a leading non-profit environmental organization based in Chico, California. Founded in 1975, BEC has continued to provide the community with environmental education, information, and advocacy through programs and events.

BEC's achievements are made possible by the active support of more than 900 valued members, staff, and board.  



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 and a Long History of Environmental Protection 


  • The Endangered Species Faire:  An annual commemoration of endangered animal species that encourages involvement of our community’s youth through interactive exhibits, engaging activities, presentations and festive entertainment. Between 3,000 and 10,000 people of all ages visit on Earth Day and participate in northern California’s oldest environmental fair.
  • Community Water ForumHeld on the Second Wednesday of Every Month in ARTS Room 111 On the CSU Chico Campus From 6:00 to 7:30pm. In an effort to provide entry-level water knowledge to the citizens of both the campus and local communities, local environmental groups have come together to host educational water forums where these individuals can learn about California’s water issues through informational presentations and collaborative discussions.
  • Education Programs: Recycling Education, Drought Education, Energy Efficiency, BEC Ed-Ventures
  • Publications:  The Vernal Pools of Butte County book, Environmental Health Covanta, The monthly E-Sentinel.


  • A collaboration with Sierra Club and North State Wilderness resulted in 6,000 acres of Ishi, Bucks Lake, and Chips Creek designated as wilderness area in 1984!
  • BEC's active involvement in the public process ensures a voice for the environment in the areas of: community development and land use planning, local regulation design and implementation, and rescource use and conservation planning.


  • Park and Creek Cleanups: Every year thousands of pounds of trash are collected from Bidwell Park and surrounding creeks in BEC-sponsored clean-ups.  Hundreds of volunteers work together every September to preserve the beauty and environmental integrity of our parklands since 1986. 
  • Block Parties with a Purpose: neighborhood clean up efforts to remove waste and invasive species from our local waterways
  • As a fiscal sponsor BEC supports smaller action oriented local grops: Chico Tree Advocates, Save Oroville Trees, Oroville Dioxin Education Commitee, and Chico 350!
  • BEC's Oaks restoration program: With the help of dozens of community volunteers has planted more than 200 oak seedlings in Upper Bidwell Park along with a barrier to protect them from grazing deer. BEC will continue to provide the trees water each week through the summer months to ensure their survival for the first 3 years.

BEC's Current Work

BEC continues to be very active in Butte County and the surrounding region.

  • Our advocacy programs are working to protect groundwater, improve air quality, and encourage growth that is healthy for the community and the environment.
  • Our education programs continue to work to inform the public about environmental health and wellness through our workshops and our educational outreach materials.
  • We are moving toward a membership development model that focuses on bringing people together and protecting the environment through building a strong community.
  • We are still working to save the world.