Butte Creek Ecological Preserve
Chico Outdoor Adventurer

Butte Creek Ecological Preserve

Currently, the preserve is closed due to damage from the 2018 Camp Fire.

The Butte Creek Ecological Preserve (BCEP) 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, as well as habitat for many species of special status, including the Western Pond Turtle and Yellow-legged Frog. Butte Creek is critical salmon habitat and spawning grounds for the largest population of Central Valley Spring Run Chinook, a state and federal threatened evolutionarily significant unit (ESU).

About the Butte County Ecological Preserve

The goal of the Preserve is to work in conjunction with other programs toward achieving a reasonable balance among the diverse demands on the resource base of the Butte Creek watershed.

The Reserves have adopted an adaptive management approach to managing the property. Program areas at the preserve include habitat management and conservation, outreach and education, and research. The Preserve is open to the public year round.

The BCEP is managed by the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, which partners with Chico State to offer the BCEP as a hands-on learning site for Chico State students in numerous disciplines as well as providing grounds for critical research on water quality, wildlife, fire prevention, and other areas of interest.

Interested in visiting?
Start planning your trip with our itinerary builder, and find out about upcoming events by .