Tonight we will be talking with Mary Muchowski and Robin Huffman of the Butte Environmental Council.  We’ll talk first with Mary, who is the Education and Outreach Coordinator, about the Endangered Species Faire that comes up this Saturday, May 1, 10 am to 4 pm. 

We’re pleased to say that we’ve been asked to emcee the Faire, so we will be there throughout the day telling folks what’s happening and introducing a range of outstanding guests and musical groups. 

Then in the second part of the show tonight we’ll talk with Robin Huffman, who is the Advocacy Director for the Butte Environmental Council, about some of the major projects of the council, protecting the Northstate’s land, air, and water, and learning how we can all become more involved in the work of the Council. 

Our Questions for Mary Muchowski


Mary Muchowski, Education and Outreach Coordinator of the Butte Environmental Council.  She is organizing this Saturday’s Endangered Species Faire, the 31st annual Faire, a huge project.  Thanks for joining us, Mary. 

  • Let’s start with the history of the Faire, which dates back to the early 1970s.  Where did it come from? 
  • How has it evolved over the years?
  • What are some of the highlights of this year’s Faire:
    • Exhibits and hands on activities for adults and kids?
    • Musical and other entertainment?
    • Exhibitors?
    • Food?
  • How many people do you expect to attend this year’s Faire?
  • [ Remind listeners that it takes place Saturday, May 1, 10 am to 4 pm, Cedar Grove, Bidwell Park.]
  • Is there a charge for admission?  Additional information at
  • Your web site lists the events and gives a good deal more information.
  • In particular, the site lists state and federal endangered species, a list that is long and frightening.  How many endangered species are there in California?  Although we’ll be talking with Robin Huffman in a few minutes about BEC’s programs, could you tell us a little about how, specifically, BEC’s projects and programs are helping preserve endangered species?
  •  Please tell us a little more about your work as Education and Outreach Director.  In addition to the Faire, what does BEC do for the public, the schools, the community?]

Our Conversation with Robin Huffman 

 Robin Huffman is  Advocacy Director for BEC.  

BEC has a wide range of projects underway, more than we can possibly do justice to in this segment.  But perhaps you can give us an overview of some of  these: 

  • Water.  BEC and other organizations just won a lawsuit concerning the use of Northstate waters for alleged “drought” conditions.  Can you tell us a little about this case?
  • The Tuscan Aquifer study.
  • Water bottling—the Orland plant, the foothills 160 af exportation plan.
  • Butte County General Plan 2030. (Regional Conservation Plan.)  Given hard economic times, is the environment more threatened than ordinarily?
  • New Era Mine.
  • Chico/Butte Creek preservation and restoration.
  • Other topics you’d like to cover?

    Obviously these efforts require time and money.  Please tell about how listeners can become involved—maybe as simple as volunteering at the office, but possibly becoming major movers/researchers in some of these causes.  And what kinds of funds are needed to support this work.

   Playlist for Ecotopia #83: Endangered Species Faire

1.   Black Moon (Album Version)        6:59        Emerson, Lake & Palmer        Black Moon
2.   Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)        3:16        Marvin Gaye
                What's Going On
3.   Supernova        4:42        Liquid Blue       
4.   Doctor My Eyes (LP Version)        3:20        Jackson Browne       
        Jackson Browne       
5.   Trophic Cascade        4:12        Ronn Fryer       
        Endangered Animals (Environmental Jenga)       
6.   Weave Me the Sunshine        4:28        Peter, Paul And Mary       
        The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary       
7.   Death Of Mother Nature Suite (Album Version)        7:54        Kansas