Located within the Sutter Buttes, CA, the North Butte property consists of approximately 200 acres of steep, rocky terrain that includes a summit peak at approximately 1,863’. North Butte is part of an extinct volcano and the geology consists of mostly andesite and rhyolite domes and deposits. The dominant vegetation types are blue oak and interior live oak with an abundant understory of native shrubs, annuals, and forbs. SBRLT have several guided hikes during the year that allow visitors to climb to the peak of North Butte.

Purpose of this project

Placing the North Butte property in the hands of SBRLT provided lasting preservation of the integrity of the land as well as allowing for guided public access through Middle Mountain Interpretive Hike (MMIH), our sister organization which provides an educational and recreational component. Visitors can learn about the historical, cultural, geological, and natural resources of the Sutter Buttes, while also enjoying the scenic values of the peak from afar and from atop the summit.

Types of conservation values are being protected

The North Butte property preserves valuable oak woodland habitat and provides high quality habitat for listed species of concern and other regulated species such as golden eagles and the densest known population of ringtails. The site is used for public access and is utilized as an educational resource by MMIH (guided interpretive hikes). North Butte is a significant cultural and archaeological site. The presence of mortars and pestles can be found all over the Sutter Buttes and were documented to have been used by native peoples in acorn preparation. The North Butte peak is a prominent community feature and thought to be a sacred landmark and gathering site in native traditions. The protection of this property preserves historical, cultural, geological, natural, recreational, educational and scenic resources.

Why protection of this habitat important

The Sutter Buttes Mountain Range is the largest-single-contiguous habitat in the central valley. Protecting habitat is critical to preserving diverse wildlife populations who rely on habitat areas for survival. The Sutter Buttes in particular are home to several rare and threatened species. Protecting large, contiguous pieces of habitat promotes healthy ecosystem structure and function while also supporting higher levels of biodiversity than smaller, parceled habitat areas. Habitat areas can also offer unique scenic values and recreational opportunities. Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust recognizes the importance of protecting what is left of these valuable resources. We offer an alternative to developing farmland and habitat areas and believe that offering landowners a choice will give them the opportunity to voluntarily protect some or all of their property from development.