INSIDE Chico State
0 November 2, 2000
Volume 31 Number 6
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
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Inside

STORIES

Provost's Corner

Scholarships

Thriving Under Pressure

Achievements

Calendar of Events

Exhibitions


Credits

Archives

 

 

Big Chico Creek Preserve Dedicated

Chico native and alum Phil Wallin, director of River Network, and Suzanne Gibbs, founder/director of Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance.
Chico native and alum Phil Wallin, director of River Network, and Suzanne Gibbs, founder/director of Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance, look out over what is now the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve. On the right is developer Dan Drake, one of the former owners of the Simmons Ranch property. (Photos by Kathleen McPartland)


Seventy-five university representatives, environmentalists, state and federal agency representatives, and guests gather on a canyon outlook at the dedication of the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve.

Seventy-five university representatives, environmentalists, state and federal agency representatives, and guests gather on a canyon outlook at the dedication of the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve.

(Photos by Kathleen McPartland)

The land was ours before we were the lands. -- Robert Frost

In his remarks as master of ceremonies at the dedication of the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve, Provost Scott McNall used the above quote to refer to the stewardship Frost implied. "I think we all understand that land stewardship has been a hard lesson to learn for Americans, who so love their country, but often seem hell-bent on destroying it," McNall said. "This preserve is a victory for reasoned, but impassioned, preservation of our majestic California landscape."

McNall welcomed 75 guests to a canyon overlook above the 2,724-acre preserve. Among those guests were representatives of the agencies and conservation groups that worked together with the university to make the preserve a reality: Mike Sweeney, undersecretary for the California Resources Agency; Wayne White, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Phil Wallin, director, River Network; Jim Sarro, interim executive director, Wildlife Conservation Board; and Ed Hastey, David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

McNall gave special acknowledgment to Suzanne Gibbs, Big Chico Creek Alliance, and Don Holtgrieve, Geography and Planning, for their key roles in creating the preserve. Holtgrieve and Gibbs will continue working on projects related to the preserve, including a management plan and an endowment program.

The management of the preserve will continue the restoration of Big Chico Creek Spring Run Chinook salmon and winter steelhead trout. It will protect a valuable piece of one of Northern California's treasured riparian ecosystems. It will protect 140 different animals that live there, 13 of which are threatened or endangered. It will provide black-tailed deer, mountain lion, and black bear with winter habitat they critically need.

The Research Foundation, along with River Network based in Portland, Oregon, and the Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance, has worked cooperatively for more than two years. River Network facilitated purchase of the land with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and the Packard Foundation.

The preserve was deemed "historic" by Mary Nichols, Secretary of the Resources Agency, who sent a prepared comment: "Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve is historic, not only because it is the first acquisition made under the landmark Parks Bond 2000, but because it is a worthy example of private and public partnership to preserve California's priceless landscape for the future."

Kathleen McPartland

 

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