Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserves

The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserves is under the direction of the CSUC Research Foundation. Our mission is to work to preserve critical habitat and to provide a natural area for environmental research and education.

The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve contains 3,950 acres of diverse canyon and ridge habitats, including 4.5 miles of Big Chico Creek, and is home to many species of plants and animals. BCCER was created with the purchase of the Simmons Ranch in 1999 and the Henning Ranch in 2001. It is owned by the California State University, Chico, Research Foundation.

The Reserve ranges in elevation from 700 feet to 2,044 feet and contains a wide variety of habitats, including creek riffles and pools, riparian areas, oak woodlands, chaparral, pine forest, rock cliffs, and springs. These diverse habitats support more than 140 different wildlife species, including a number of listed species and species requiring large tracts of undisturbed habitat. BCCER contributes to the understanding and wise management of the earth and its natural systems by preserving critical habitat, and providing a natural area for environmental research and education.


  • Protect and monitor on-site natural resources
  • Provide a site with natural resources to support research and teaching in the Chico area
  • Develop, upgrade and maintain databases to support research and instruction
  • Provide public outreach and education to the extent possible

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Feature Articles

2013 Candles in the Canyon

Check out the feature article about our 10th Annual Candles in the Canyon event in the June issue of Upgraded Living Magazine



Outdoor Education Internships

Outdoor Education Internships are available and starting soon! Share your appreciation of the outdoors by inspiring elementary and secondary students at Chico State’s OUTDOOR CLASSROOM.


BCCER Fall Hunting 2014

Fall 2014 hunting application period NOW OPEN for the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve!



Our Reserve Access Management System now has a new web link!  Request access to the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve here.

Make A Gift

With our secure site, investing in the CSU, Chico Ecological Reserves has never been easier. Click here to make a gift!