Butte County lies in north central California at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, approximately 150 miles northeast of San Francisco and 70 miles north of Sacramento. Highways 70 and 99, which extend in a north-south direction through the county, define the principal transportation corridors connecting the county to the region. Highways 32 and 162 provide sub-regional connections to areas to the west of the county and to Interstate 5. Its boundaries were first established in 1850 as part of the original partition of California into 27 counties. In 1856, the county’s boundaries were redrawn to their current configuration. Elevations range from approximately 60 feet in the southwest corner of the County, adjacent to the Sacramento River to 8,100 feet in the northeast corner near Butte Meadows. The total land area of Butte County is approximately 1,680 square miles (1,073,000 acres)and can be divided into three general topographical areas: a valley area, a foothill region east of the valley area, and a mountain region east of the foothills. These topographic areas comprise approximately 45 percent, 23 percent and 31 percent, respectively, of the county’s land. Butte County's population is about 222,000 residents.
Citizens live in 5 cities (Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Oroville and the Town of Paradise) and the unincorporated county. On October 26, 2010, the Butte County Board of Supervisors approved a new, comprehensive General Plan Update, known as Butte County General Plan 2030. The Plan was updated in 2012 and has been updated several times to keep it current. Most recently, on November 06, 2019 to update the Safety Element to comply with AB 2140 and reflect a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update that was approved on the same day.
A new Zoning Ordinance, to fully implement the General Plan, was adopted in 2013.
On Feburary 25, 2014, Butte County approved a Climate Action Plan.