Butte Environmental Council was originally founded as a collective representing five local environmental efforts. The aim was to come together as a coalition of diverse groups to serve as a streamlined, effective force for environmental education and advocacy in Butte County. In its first year of incorporation, BEC was a cooperative with representatives from five environmental groups: the Sierra Club, Northstate Wilderness Committee, Community Gardens Project, Forces to Restore Earth's Environment (FREE), and Student Environmental Collective.
This event brought together local environmental organizations and their supporters for a night of conversation and celebration. This reception was the final event of the This Way to Sustainability Conference that took place at CSU, Chico on March 26-27. By gathering together we hoped that we strengthened relationships and improved communication between the organizations to develop more viable strategies and alliances for a safer, healthier and more vibrant community. Click here to visit the outcomes of the Environmental Community Gathering.
Today BEC is revisiting its original "Council" identity with efforts to bring together local environmental organizations and meet regularly as a coalition. The goal of the coalition is to strategically address some of the most important regional issues facing our community. We're bringing together key environmental stakeholders to strategize on topics such as the proposed Agriculture Mitigation Ordinance, addressing Climate Change at the local level, assess the local threats posed by hydraulic fracturing or evaluating the proposed Butte Regional Conservation Plan that lays out the next 50 years of habitat protection in Butte County. By working together, we can support (not duplicate) each other's efforts. Because we are all operating under constant budget constraints, we need to be able to work smarter together to make the most of all of our resources and information. The twenty-three organizations listed below participated in a Community Gathering event in March 2013 and again in 2014 and 2015 to celebrate our victories and learn more about each others' varied efforts. Most of these organizations are represented at our quarterly Coalition meetings.
• Altacal Audubon Society
• Associated Students Sustainability Program, CSUC
• Butte Bicycle Coalition
• Butte College, Sustainability Resource Center
• Butte Environmental Council
• California Native Plant Society, Mt Lassen Chapter
• California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC)
• California Urban Streams Alliance: The Stream Team
• Center for Water & the Environment, CSUC
• Citizen Action Network, Frack-Free Butte County
• Citizen's Water Watch
• Chico Creek Nature Center
• Chico Peace & Justice Center
• Chico Tree Advocates
• Chico VELO Cycling
• Cultivating Community North Valley
• Frack-Free Butte County
•Friends of Bidwell Park
• Friends of Butte Creek
• Friends of the Farmers Market
• GRID Alternatives
• GRUB Education Program
• Institute for Sustainable Development, CSUC
• Kids & Creeks
• Northern California Regional Land Trust
• Outdoor Education For All (OEFA)
• River Partners
• Sacramento River Preservation Trust
• Sierra Club Yahi Group
• The Chico Grange
A local group led by Marty Dunlap that assembles longtime citizen water advocates to track and steer water policy, particularly as it relates to Delta plans for North State water; and the evolution of the Northern Sacramento Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (NSV IRWMP).
BEC is an active participant in the California Environmental Water Caucus, which is an umbrella organization of groups advocating for sustainable water policy for California. BEC staff and board members participate in monthly teleconference calls and annual strategy meetings, working with other knowledgeable water advocates at the state level to pursue political, legal and economic strategies to restore ecological health, improve water quality and protect public trust values throughout California's water systems. Through our participation at the state level, BEC is able to assess proposed legislation and policy that would impact north state residents, ecosystems, and our water infrastructure.
EarthShare was formed in 1982 as a coalition of twelve environmental programs working together to raise needed funds through workplace fundraising campaigns. EarthShare California manages environmental giving campaigns in workplaces for environmental and conservation charities, more than 40 national and international organizations; BEC has been an EarthShare affiliate since 2002. For more information on EarthShare, see here.