Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Where Education Meets the Land.

The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve 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.

3,950 Acres of Diverse Habitats

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. The 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.

Goals of the Reserve

  • Support the educational mission of CSU, Chico by providing a site with natural resources to support research and teaching
  • Develop, upgrade and maintain databases to support research and instruction

  • Protect and monitor on-site natural resources

  • Provide public outreach and education

Support the Reserve's Innovative Land Management

Adopt an Acre(opens in new window)

20th anniversary logo

Visitors Welcome!

The Reserve is open from dawn to dusk every day with the exception of hunt days.

Visit the Reserve

2017-18 Year in Review

Wondering what we have been up to? Check out our 2017-18 Year in Review.

2017-2018 Year in Review (PDF)

The outdoor classroom is a fun place for kids to learn about science in the best classroom anywhere - nature!

For more information - getting your class to the Reserves, becoming an intern or volunteer - contact Education Coordinator Jon Aull at

President Gayle Hutchinson visits the BCCER

Reserves Director Eli Goodsell talks with the President about exciting new projects.

The Reserves In The News

Mitch with drip torch
The Fires of 2018: What Happens Now
CSU System article on response to this year's fires and learning opportunities.
Fire Mitigation at the BCCER

An article from Chico State Today on our use of goats and prescribed burns.

prescribed burn
Local and Government Agencies Partner with BCCER in Prescribed Burn

An article from Chico State Today(opens in new window) on a partnership for training and forest health.

adopt an acre trail camera
"Adopt an Acre" Catches Critters on Camera

An article from Chico State Today(opens in new window) about the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve's Adopt an Acre program and the CSC2(opens in new window) interns who helped manage the trail cameras.  

Events via Facebook