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Get involved in BEC's Land Advocacy!

An excited environmentalist, ready to get involved!

  • Sign up to receive BEC’s monthly e-newsletter for updates on our Land Advocacy topics and stay informed about the work BEC is doing in the community.
  • Voulnteer to help review Environmental documents.
  • Attend public hearings and demonstrations. Remember to bring your friends!
  • Donate to BEC and support our work protecting the land from irresponsible development, urban sprawl, and pollution.




BEC's Land Advocacy Topics

Stonegate Subdivision

Butte Creek Canyon Conservation Overlay

Paradise Sewer Project

Durham Villas Subdivision

Butte Regional Conservation Plan (BRCP)

Sustainable Ag Lands Conservation (SALC)

PowerButte (Solar Overlay Zone)

Community Gardens

Chico Tree Advocates (CTA) / Save Oroville Trees (SOT)



Stonegate Subdivision

"Vernal pools seen from East 20th Street" a painting by Nicolai Larsen
"Vernal pools seen from East 20th Street" - Nicolai Larsen



  • A local developer (EPICK Homes) has applied to subdivide and rezone a 313 acre site, in order to allow for future development. This site is home to endangered species, and vitaly important Vernal pool habitat.

    The proposed development sight in the summer. An empty field with historic rock walls and a small riparian area

  • Project maps of the Stonegate subdivision show converting what has been mostly untouched wild space to:

    • 108.2 acres of open space

    • a 2.6 acre park

    • 460 single-family residential lots (105.2 acres)

    • 12.4 acres of multi-family residential, and

    • 35.2 acres of commercial uses

  • In June of 2016, public notice was given that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was being prepared for this project. BEC submitted a comment letter arguing against the development of this important Butte County Meadowfoam habitat.

  • A public scoping meeting was held on July 12, 2016. (CN&R article)

  • The Draft EIR is expected to be made available for public review in early 2017.


The proposed Butte County Meadowfoam preserveLocation of the proposed Stonegate Development

Conflicting Futures

(Left) The proposed Chico Butte County Meadowfoam Preserve from the DRAFT Butte Regional Conservation Plan (BRCP).     

(Right) The location of the proposed Stonegate development. The same property is seen at the bottom of the Chico Butte County Meadowfoam Preserve map.


Why is BEC involved?

  • BEC has been speaking out for the protection of the Endangered Butte County Meadowfoam population and Vernal pool wetlands for decades. We are not going to stop now!
  • Vernal wetlands and their supportive surrounding grasslands perform many valuable functions for humans and  wildlife. They assist in storm water detention (minimizing flooding and filtering out pollutants). The open grasslands provide passive recreation opportunities (e.g., hiking, photography, bird watching, wildflower viewing). The species that live in vernal pools provide food chain support for migratory waterfowl and other native animals that depend on the grassland habitat and numerous listed bird species rely on the grasslands surrounding the vernal wetlands for foraging.
  • This 313 acre property has been repeatedly identified by the USFWS, CDFW and Lassen Chapter of CNPS as a Primary and Occupied Butte County Meadowfoam habitat. Long-term collaboration between these groups and others resulted in a plan to recover the endangered Butte County meadowfoam species through the creation of the Chico Butte County Meadowfoam Preserve as described in the Butte Regional Conservation Plan Formal Public Draft. Unfortunately this plan has yet to be approved, and will likely not be finalized until after a decision has been made for the future of the Stonegate site.


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Butte Creek Canyon Conservation Overlay


The Butte Creek Canyon Conservation Overlay Map


  • For the past 6 years, concerned citizens from Butte Creek Canyon Coalition, Centerville Recreation & Historical Society, and Friends of Butte Creek have been working with the County to complete the Butte Creek Canyon Conservation Overlay. Click to view the draft ordiance.

  • The overlay was designed in response to the County’s General Plan Conservation and Open Space Element Action Item COS-A6. The goal of the overlay is to preserve the numerous historical and ecological features of Butte Creek Canyon and to allow for continued responsible recreation and residential uses. The approval of the overlay will result in:

    • Setbacks for Ridgeline Development - addressing fire safety issues, erosion and run-off control, viewshed protection

    • Prohibition of Clustered Development - inappropriate for steep canyon walls, limited water supply, impacts on traffic

    • Watershed Protection - addressing maximum impervious surfaces, maintenance of vegetative buffers, and erosion and sediment control plan

  • A public workshop was held on June 30th by the Butte County Planning Commision, and a second workshop has been scheduled during the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, October 27, 2016.


Butte County Planning Commission - Public Workshop to Recommend Inclusion of the Butte Creek Canyon Conservation Overlay

Thursday, October 27th, at 1:00

Butte County Board of Supervisors Chambers - 25 County Center Dr, Oroville, CA

Attend the hearing and voice your support for long-term protection of Butte Creek Canyon


Send a letter with your support comments to:

Dan Breedon, Principal Planner - Butte County Development Services Department


Why is BEC involved?

  • BEC has been committed to environmental protection for more than 40 years. The inclusion of the Butte Creek Canyon Conservation Overlay in to the County’s General Plan will secure the canyon and its natural treasures for generations to come.

  • Please join BEC in supporting the efforts to put long-term protections in place for Butte Creek Canyon. For more information please visit the Butte County Development Services website:


Butte Creek Canyon

Butte Creek Canyon

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Paradise Sewer Project



  • The Town of Paradise has been awarded a grant by the State Water Resources Control Board to study the feasibility of installing a sewer system in the most densely populated areas of the town. The service area includes large portions of the Skyway and portions of Clark and Pearson, most importantly the commercial areas where poor soil, high water tables, difficult topography and small lots makes septic systems problematic.

  • A sewer system is needed to resolve a growing problem of failing septic tanks, leaking tanks that create environmental hazards, and development constraints that preventing the Town’s economic growth.

  • There are several treatment option being considered, from building a local wastewater facility in or around the Town of Paradise, to building a pipeline and transporting wastewater to the City of Chico’s existing treatment plant.

  • In order to determine the best option, the Town of paradise has formed a Stakeholder group that meets monthly. The group provides feedback to the project team, helping to establish a set of objective criteria to evaluate the options and giving valuable input to insure community concerns are addressed.


looking over the railing at wastewater Why is BEC involved?

  • The decisions that are made will have a big impact on the local environment.
  • It is important to consider the future of water availability in California. Changing regulations and climates demand that any water systems be designed with long-term sustainability in mind.
  • BEC is participating in the Stakeholder group for this project to ensure that the environmental community has a voice in the process, and to advocate for the most sustainable and water-wise option.


  • Look for updates on this project and opportunities to get involved as the project is presented for public review. A public workshop has been tentatively scheduled for October. More at


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Durham Villas Subdivision

Backgroundalmond orchard in bloom

  • The Durham Villas is a proposed subdivision in the Durham area, East of the train tracks and South of Durham-Dayton Hwy. The existing 118 acre lot would be split to build 139 single-family residential lots, a commercial lot, neighborhood park, and community center. The existing home and 67 acres of almond orchard would remain.

  • In 2015 the Agricultural buffer requirements were reduced from 300’ to a minimum of 25’ for orchards and vineyards. This allows for the development to be built while leaving portions of the existing orchard in close proximity to the new homes.

  • Members of the Durham community have spoken out against the Durham Villas Development with concerns about the impact this will have on the community, infrastructure and the local environment. Community meetings were held in the Spring of 2016 to gather community input and guide the content of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

  • On October 6th Durham Irrigation District held a Public Hearing to review the completed water supply assessment. The assessment stated that there is enough supply to meet this developments needs for the next 20 years and it was accepted by the District Board.

  • The Draft EIR is expected to be released for public review and comment soon!

  • The Butte County Planning Commission will be responsible for the acceptance or rejection of the Draft EIR after they receive comments from the public.

  • More information, and regular updates on this project are available on the County's website.

Why is BEC involved

  • BEC promotes citizen advocacy and good land use and development planning.

  • BEC will help spread the word about the opportunity to provide input and we will provide any concerned citizens with the tools they need to engage in decision making process.

  • We have a proud history of submitting comments on environmental review documents in an effort to change, slow, or stop any project that will likely harm environmental quality.

  • Along with local citizens, we review impacts to roadways and air quality from increased traffic, changes in water quality that are caused by new storm and wastewater systems, and the long-term sustainability of any project.


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Butte Regional Conservation Plan (BRCP) 

we are currently working on this section please check back soon for updates! 

Sustainable Ag Lands Conservation (SALC)

we are currently working on this section please check back soon for updates! 

Power Butte (Solar Overlay Zone)

we are currently working on this section please check back soon for updates! 

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Community Gardens 

BEC proudly operates two Community Gardens in Chico:

Humbolt Community Garden

Oak Way Community Garden


A proud community gardener


Click here to learn more about the BEC Community Gardens


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Chico Tree Advocates (CTA) Save Oroville Trees (SOT)

volunteers planting a tree A row of large trees with yellow ribbon around them and a yellow sign that reads "NO Cutting"

BEC is able to support the work of amazing groups in our community by acting as a fiscal sponsor.
BEC sponsors two groups that are focused on land use by increasing healthy tree populations and avoiding the unnecessary removal of trees in their communities:

Chico Tree Advocates
Save Oroville Trees


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