Butte Environmental Council Newsletter, July 2020
BEC's Mission is to protect and defend the land, air and water of Butte County and the surrounding region through action, advocacy and education. Our monthly newsletter is designed to keep our community informed about local issues that impact our region's environmental quality and bring you opportunities to become involved.
We Need Your Support
Become a Sustaining Member today by contributing between $3 and $30 a month! As a gift for your support in helping us achieve the BEC mission, you will receive a free vintage BEC logo Klean Kanteen in the mail. Click " Sustaining Member " below to fill out a quick and easy membership form or learn other ways to help our mission. BEC is a community powered non-profit dedicated to a healthy environment for us all. And we can't do it without YOU!
Coming Up Next
33rd Annual Bidwell Park & Chico Creeks Cleanup
On Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th, hundreds of community volunteers will disperse through 20 miles of creek and park to remove literal TONS of trash and recyclable materials. It is crucial that we do our part to keep our vulnerable riparian habitat healthy and thriving. We strongly encourage you to register as a group as we will deliver cleanup materials to groups in the weeks preceding allowing us to alleviate volunteers gathering each morning of the event. Grab a few friends or a group of co-workers and register now!
BEC Programs
Help BEC Water Young Oak Trees in the Park!
Join our oak restoration intern, Anna, to water young oak trees during this hot and dry season. This CA Wildlife Foundation funded project to restore oak woodland habitat in Upper Bidwell Park began in 2014. 2020 is the final year of our efforts that have resulted in 57 young and established oak trees that will benefit our local environment and our community for generations to come. Volunteers meet at North Rim Trail Parking Lot at 9 AM, every Saturday. Please email oaks@becnet.org with questions.
Schedule a Virtual RARE Workshop Now!
We are elated to welcome our new RARE Coordinator, Emily Donaldson . The RARE Program is adapting its educational and interactive workshops to be virtual. Whether you are home schooling or teaching in the classroom, you can easily schedule an online and interactive workshop designed to bring awareness to local and global waste issues and implement waste reduction in Butte County. With the school year right around the corner, click the button below to view the online calendar and get a workshop on the books. You can also take a look at this program's accomplishments in its first year back at BEC!
Action and Advocacy
Easily Report an Environmental Concern through BEC
Our Creek Watch Hotline Program provides an online tool for you to easily file a report on local environmental concerns. You can choose from the following categories and the form will be directed to the appropriate City Department so that your concern is addressed: Fire Hazards, Hazardous Waste, Encampments, Illegal Dumping, Pollution, and Water Quality. We are partnered with the City of Chico on this program to encourage collective community care of our parks and waterways!
Watch Dogging Issue to Protect California Open Lands Wetland Preserve and Tuscan Aquifer Recharge Zone
A conservation easement overseen by the California Open Lands i s in danger of leachate contamination, threatening the health of this important recharge zone of the Tuscan Aquifer. The COL aims to ensure requirements are met to to prevent discharge into surrounding surface and groundwater. The issue is being addressed in various ways to protect and preserve the health of the easement stormwater that flows from the Neal Road Landfill into downstream wetlands and eventually the Sacramento River. Read more on this issue HERE and contact California Open Lands Director, Holly Nielsen, at hollylane75@hotmail.com for more information.
Valley's Edge - The Dangerous Impacts of Urban Sprawl on Sensitive Chico Habitat
Public review of the Environmental Impact Report for proposed development Valley's Edge will likely be available in November of 2020. Valley's Edge is a proposed housing and commercial development on more than 1,450 acres of wooded hills between lower Honey Run Road and Stilson Canyon. This area is habitat for various riparian community types, including Great Valley Oak and Great Valley Cottonwood Riparian Forests. Wildlife species of the area include wintering bald eagles, western pond turtle, red-legged frog, deer, coyote, bobcat, beaver, ash-throated flycatcher, yellow warbler, and western bluebird. In addition to the green house gas emissions related to this scale of luxury housing, there will be certain disruption of the large Butte County Meadowfoam habitat, a California endangered species existing rarely in this location. Please stay tuned, as BEC will host a webinar discussion of the public comment process in opposition to developments that are not suited for maintaining and preserving the habitat health within the City of Chico.
Let Us Do Our Part to Protect Lake Oroville
Article by Neil Bajaj, BEC Member & Local High School Student
Lake Oroville has become our favorite local summer destination for a variety of recreational activities1. While California is rich in natural resources, the ever-increasing volume of trash, litter, and debris entering waterways presents a challenge to water quality and habitat protection that warrants attention. We, as citizens, can do our part to conserve our aquatic life and beautiful waterways. Everyday items like fishing line, and six-pack rings can hamper marine organisms' mobility and cause injury. Once entangled, animals have trouble eating, breathing, or swimming, all of which can have fatal results2. Plastics degrade very slowly and may continue to trap and kill animals for decades. Birds, fish, and mammals can mistake plastic for food. Once ingested, debris may cause choking and injuries. Additionally, with a plastic filling their stomachs, animals may have a false feeling of being full and may die of starvation. When not disposed of appropriately, items like fishing line, plastic bags, metal cans, fishing equipment, glass bottles, and cigarette butts are likely to be cast into the water. One alternative disposal (proper or improper) is to switch to reusable products and products made from recycled materials with little or no packaging and avoiding products with micro-beads. We can all do our part! - Neil
1) https://water.ca.gov/Programs/State-Water-Project/SWP-Facilities/Oroville/Lake-Oroville-Recreation
2) https://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/marinedebris.html
Thank you for your continued support of the Butte Environmental Council.
General Manager
Butte Environmental Council