Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Rules & Guidelines – Research Use

All researchers using the reserve must be qualified to conduct the research proposed. Research in any subject area may be allowed if the researcher can demonstrate that the resources and/or facilities available at the reserve are reasonably necessary for the proposed research project and that the research activities will not compromise the goals of the Ecological Reserves.

To request permission to perform research at the reserve follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact our reserves management staff to discuss your research proposal by calling (530) 898-5010.
  2. Review our research and education protocol.
  3. Apply for a use permit use by accessing our online Reserve Access Management System (RAMS)(opens in new window). Please provide as much detailed information about your planned research project as possible. Submit one application for each research request.
  4. Your request will be evaluated by our reserve management team and you will receive a response to your request in a timely manner.
  5. Following application approval, arrange your orientation with our management staff if you are a first time user by calling (530) 898-5010.

If permission to perform research is granted you will be required to follow these important general rules:

  • All visitors are requested to sign in each time they visit the reserves.
  • Entry is walk-in only unless the user is a student or faculty conducting research, or the user is attending a scheduled reserve activity.
  • Hunting and fishing are allowed ONLY during specified times according to State Fish and Game Regulations and by permit only from the BCCER.
  • No firearms (except for permitted hunting).
  • No dogs or other pets allowed.
  • No fires or camping.
  • No swimming.
  • No automobiles, ATVs, dirt bikes, bicycles, or horses.
  • No collecting of plants, animals, rocks, fossils, fungi or artifacts.
  • Alcohol use is not permitted on the BCCER except by approved alcohol permit, served at meals or official functions. 
    The use of illicit drugs on the BCCER is prohibited.
  • No access is permitted to non-hunters in the hunting areas on hunting days.
    See the hunting schedule and hunt area map (PDF)

Violators will be prosecuted under Title 14, Section 630 of the California Code of Regulations.

If permission to perform research is granted you will be required to do the following:


Students and faculty may request to borrow research equipment from the Ecological Reserves. Any equipment purchased from funds generated by the Ecological Reserves becomes property of the Ecological Reserves.

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials may not be used on the Ecological Reserves unless permission is granted from the Director. All hazardous materials used in research projects shall be disposed properly (legally) by the researcher.

Acknowledgements, Publications, and Reports

All researchers must identify the California State University, Chico Research Foundation, Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve or Butte Creek Ecological Preserve in any publications or reports that result from use of the reserve. Two copies of each publication resulting from work done at the reserve shall be provided to the reserve as soon as they become available. One bound copy of each thesis shall be provided to the reserve. Researchers are encouraged to also provide a digital copy of publications to the reserve.

Publications, Reports, Posters

All research, data, photographs, etc. collected at the Ecological Reserves must be provided to the Reserve Director at the conclusion of the project. This information may be posted on the Ecological Reserves website unless the researcher requests otherwise. All researchers are required to provide copies of mature data sets derived from work on the reserve, which will be archived at the reserve. Data sets should include procedures followed and site descriptions sufficient to permit future replication by independent investigators.

Leave No Trace

Researchers are required to remove all flagging, equipment, and mitigate any disturbances at the conclusion of the research project. Failure to remove flagging and equipment, or to return the site(s) to their unaltered condition, will result in a letter to the University to delay graduation until the matter is resolved.

Research Application

All researchers should discuss their proposed research project with the reserve Director before formally applying for permission to conduct their studies. All researchers must apply for research permit(s) using the online Reserve Access Management System (RAMS) and agree to comply with all reserve rules and regulations. Describe the purpose of the research and procedures to be followed in conducting research, specify the proposed project duration, dates of reserve use, contract and grant information, prospective research site(s), and animal and plant populations that may be affected by the proposed research. Any potential disturbances to the reserve's ecosystem or cultural resources must be clearly described along with plans for avoidance or mitigation.