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Area: 928 Acres
Lat: 39.6485° N
Lon:  121.6449° W
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Pam Starr
Alyn Robert Brereton
Julie MacKinnon
Linda Pittman
Parham Pourahmad
Larry Whiting
Randall Finley
Butte College Wildlife Refuge - Site # 5048
The development of the Main Campus in the heart of Butte County began in 1973. At that time, the Butte College Board of Trustees established the campus as a wildlife refuge. The 928-acre campus and Wildlife Refuge not only serves as an outside laboratory for agriculture, natural resource and biology students and houses the College’s farm, it also provides roughly 60 acres for the public to explore and commune with nature.
RegionalRegional - worth visiting if you are already in the area. They may be located farther from populated areas or with more limited wildlife species.

Cedar Waxwing: 960x929 Butte College Wildlife Refuge: 500x375 : 725x308 : 989x659

Background: Butte College is a student-ready, rural community college that provides high-quality, accessible education and support, serving approximately 15,000 students each year. Located in Oroville, it is 75 miles north of Sacramento and 15 miles south of Chico.
Butte College Land Acknowledgement: We acknowledge that Butte College and its satellite campuses stand on lands that were originally occupied by the first people of this area, and we recognize and honor the Maidu, Wintun, Wailaki and Nomlaki Tribes. We thank them for their strength and resilience in protecting this land for centuries and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their example. In offering this land acknowledgement, we affirm Native American sovereignty, history, and experiences.

The Habitat: There are roughly 320 acres of blue oak and grey pine woodlands, along with 220 acres of grassland. The campus also has ten seasonal ponds and over 50 acres of wetlands. Within the 60 acres open to the public, there are two miles of Clear Creek riparian area, three seasonal ponds, two seasonal creeks, several acres of wetlands, agriculture fields and the home of the campus goat herd. The goats are used as a sustainable method for vegetation management. Please do not interact with or pet the goats and avoid touching the fence as they are electrified.

We are fortunate to have a great diversity of habitats:
More than two miles of Clear Creek Riparian
320 acres of Blue Oak-Gray Pine Woodland
220 acres of grassland
More than 50 acres wetlands- includes 10 ponds, a marsh and many vernal pools and drainages

Our farm fields provide food and lodging for many critters also.
These areas provide habitat for snakes, black-tailed deer, beaver, river otters, coyotes, foxes, ring-tailed cats, opossum, raccoons, coyotes, bob cats and an occasional mountain lion and rarely a bear. More than 150 species of birds have been observed on campus over the years and have been inventoried in this Birds of Butte College pamphlet organized by emeritus Biology Faculty member Albin Bills.

The Experience: Quiet and peaceful. Butte College has a Mediterranean climate and is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. You will experience sounds from the wildlife, athletic events and instructional programs. The trails are unimproved and unmaintained. The public is required to stay on the trails. Access to the trails is limited to foot traffic only. Any use of the trails will be at your own risk. Butte College does not provide supervision.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: Wildlife species you may see in the area include but are not limited to deer, coyote, fox, squirrels, turkey, owls, woodpeckers, waterfowl, beaver, river otters and egrets. A few of the more dangerous wildlife you may encounter are rattlesnakes, ticks, yellowjackets and the occasional mountain lion or bear. Please respect the wildlife. Do not approach or feed the wildlife.

Our campus is not just known for the wildlife but also the plant life. You may come across several wildflower species that bloom throughout the year, along with sky lupin, yellow carpet and foothill poppy. Not all of our plant life is friendly. We also have poison oak, blackberry and other thorn species. It is always important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings as you visit our campus.

Please check out these Butte College webpages for additional information about the campus wildlife refuge.
Butte College Wildlife Refuge webpage: www.butte.edu/departments/learning/biology/refuge.html

Butte College Friends of the Refuge webpage: www.butte.edu/departments/learning/biology/FOR.html

Site Notes: Hours: Weekends only. Visitors must notify College Police at 530-895-2351 before entering the viewing area.

The main entrance gates to the Main Campus in Oroville are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and closed on holidays. Visitors must exit the campus before the closing time. The viewing site is closed to the public during weekdays (Monday to Friday) for instructional needs and on holidays.

Please do not climb over the fences and gates. All gates are to remain locked.

‘Pack it in, pack it out’ – Leave no trace. Packing in and packing out is an essential environmental practice that will help preserve the natural environment for wildlife and future generations. Please take all the items you brought and leave no unnecessary items or waste behind.
Restrooms are available near the horse arena on the east side of campus near Parking Lot 4.

If you have an emergency, call 911. Butte College does have a police department on the Main Campus, and they are responsible for law enforcement and all emergency responses on campus. You can contact the College Police Department 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling from any of our Emergency Phones (RED OR BLUE PHONES) on the main campus. The phone will automatically connect to College Police. You can also call 911 or 530-895-2351.

Nearby Viewing Sites: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
Oroville Wildlife Area
Bidwell Park
lake Oroville State Recreation Area

Festivals & Events: Butte College Harvest Festival
Sierra Oro Farm Trail
Snow Goose Festival
California Swan Festival

Visitor Information: Explore Butte County - (530) 918-4585 - https://www.explorebuttecounty.com

Road Information:   Paved. 
Road Hazards: 
 Number of Parking Spaces: 0
Parking Fee: No
Proximity to viewing area:
 Pull-Through Parking: No
Parking Notes: 100 yards to viewing areas

How to Get There: How to Get There: The best entrance to the college for viewing wildlife is off Clark Road. The entrance is about half a mile north of the Clark Road/Durham Pentz roundabout. The best parking is in Parking Lot 4. It is the closest to the trail entrance.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: Butte College
Agency Site URL: https://www.butte.edu/departments/learning/biology/refuge.html
Physical Address: 3536 Butte Campus Drive
Oroville, CA 95965
Agency 2: 3536 Butte Campus Drive
Oroville , CA 95965
Manager Phone:
Site Phone:
County: Butte
Addition Website:  https://www.butte.edu/departments/learning/biology/FOR.html