Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Natural & Cultural Resources

The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve includes about 4000 acres ranging in elevation from 700 feet to 2,044 feet and including three major geologic formations, a trout stream, numerous perennial and intermittent tributaries, springs, seeps, riparian areas, forests, woodlands, chaparral, grasslands, and rock cliffs. These diverse habitats support more than 600 plant species and 140 wildlife species, including a number that are listed or require large tracts of undisturbed habitat. The wide variety of habitats and organisms makes the BCCER an excellent site for fieldtrips and research.

Management Plan provides basic information about the Reserve, articulates the vision and goals of the Reserve, identifies issues and constraints that will shape appropriate activities on the site, provides policies and implementation strategies for management, and outlines procedures and policies for the use of the property.

Geology Geologic processes in the Reserve are dominated by the stream dissection of gently sloping layers of rock to form steep canyons.

Habitat, Vegetation Vegetation in the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve is extremely varied, changing subtly as aspects of the microhabitat.

Watershed Big Chico Creek originates on Colby Mountain and flows 45 miles to its confluence with the Sacramento River.

Fire Management Fire is the single greatest external force affecting terrestrial ecosystems in Northern California. The last major fire in the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER) occurred in 1999 and burned about two-thirds of the reserve.