Butte Creek Ecological Preserve

Our Mission Statement:
The Butte Creek Ecological Preserve and the CSU, Chico Research Foundations Ecological Reserve System work together to preserve critical habitat and to provide a natural area for environmental research and education.

The Butte Creek Ecological Preserve is a 93-acre site along the middle section of Butte Creek. The site was formerly used for gold, sand and gravel mining, and is recovering from those activities. The property contains more than a mile of creek frontage, which is critical salmon habitat and spawning grounds, as well as habitat for many species of special status, including Chinook salmon and bald eagle. In December 1998 the University Research Foundation purchased this site with grants from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Federation, CALFED, and the Wildlife Conservation Board. The goal of the preserve is to work in conjunction with other programs towards achieving a reasonable balance among the diverse demands on the resource base of the Butte Creek watershed. The research foundation provides an adaptive management approach to managing the property. Program areas at the preserve include habitat management and conservation, outreach and education, and research. The reserve is open to the public year round.

Rules and Guidelines for use:
BCEP Research/Education Protocol
BCEP Public Use Protocol


Educational Use Of the BCEP

Interested in a research or education project at the BCEP? Click here to apply for access of the Preserve.

Field Trips

Field Trips at the BCEP


2016 Year in Review Now Available

Wondering what we have been up to? Check out our 2016 Year in Review to see our advancements in land management, research, education and public programs, new staff, facilities improvements, and more.