Chester (formerly Big Meadows) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Plumas County, California, United States.Chester is located on Lake Almanor, 30 miles (48.3 km) north-northwest of Quincy.The town is located along State Route 36. The US Postal Service ZIP code for the community is 96020. The population was 2,144 at the 2010 census, down from 2,316 at the 2000 census.
The primary industries in Chester are lumber production and tourism. Chester serves as the retail center for the Lake Almanor region of California, and derives a significant portion of its economy from the tourist trade, and to a lesser degree from construction to new residents and businesses.
Chester is near several areas of interest for outdoor activities, within a 50-mile radius the town has numerous CDF and USFS trails and campgrounds, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Drakesbad and Lake Almanor are other areas of interest for vacationers and tourists with outdoor hobbies.
Lake Almanor is a popular hunting, fishing and boating destination. The lake is home for a variety of fish and bird species, many of which make for good sport and game. Chester and the greater Lake Almanor area are home to many seasonal and year-round resorts and restaurants that cater to the locals and the summer seasonal tourists. The winter tourism tends to be quieter, the town is often a way point for people traveling to ski resorts at Mount Shasta and Lake Tahoe.
The primary industries in Chester are lumber production and tourism. Collins Pine (a division of The Collins Companies) has been in operation since the 1940s under a „sustained yield“ management plan using selective harvesting. The company’s forest management practices have been certified as FSC sustainable by Scientific Certification Systems, which designated it a „state-of-the-art well-managed forest.“ Collins no longer maintains the distinction of Chester’s dominant employer, though it remains the single business with the most employees.Other logging companies operating in the area are Roseburg Forest Products, and Sierra Pacific Industries. Clear cutting is performed in the area. Lake Almanor has developed as a vacation/tourist destination and Chester serves as the retail center for the area. All of the Almanor basin’s four gas stations are located in Chester, as well as the Almanor basin’s only full-sized grocery store.