Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

About the Park

Located eight miles west of Redding, California Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is geographically situated at the juncture of the Klamath Mountain Range and the northern edge of the Central Valley, making it home to a diverse collection of animal and plant life.


Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Species and habitats from different climates collide in this National Recreation Area. From the shrublands along the lakeshore to the old-growth forests near the top of Shasta Bally (the highest peak in the park), Whiskeytown is home to more than 750 native vascular plant species along with at least 160 bird species, 62 mammal species, 33 reptile and amphibian species, and eight native fish species. Whiskeytown boasts a diverse array of less obvious, but equally important species, such as lichens, bryophytes, fungi, and arthropods of many kinds. Investigators have yet to fully study and record most of this diversity, and new species of all types are likely to be confirmed as biologists complete inventories within the park.

There is mounting evidence that forests in western North America are already responding to climatically forced changes to hydrologic cycles. Regional warming has resulted in a declining fraction of precipitation falling as snow, declining snowpack water content, earlier spring snowmelt and runoff, and a consequent lengthening of the summer drought. Recent research by Ault and St. George (2010) indicates that shifts in decade-to-decade winter precipitation in the United States have been largest in the region that encompasses the Klamath Network national parks in northern California and southern Oregon. Predicted forest responses to these changes include increasing background mortality rates, increasing frequency of die-backs of entire stands, and greater susceptibility to insects and pathogens. Climate model projections suggest all these phenomena will become more pronounced in coming years (IPCC 2007, Seager et al. 2007).

The objective of this Action Plan is to identify actions that Whiskeytown National Recreation Area can undertake to reduce GHG emissions and thus address climate change. The plan presents the park’s emission reduction targets and associated reduction strategies designed to achieve the park’s emission reduction goals.

Emissions Profile

In 2007 GHG emissions within Whiskeytown National Recreation Area totaled 2,720 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This includes emissions from park and concessioner operations and visitor activities, including vehicle use within the park. The largest emission sector for Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is transportation, totaling 2,129 MTCO2E.

The park fleet consists of approximately 100 vehicles, including cars, trucks, watercraft and construction equipment. Considerable effort has already been undertaken to “right size” the park fleet, reduce trips and choose low emission equipment. Nearly all park visitors arrive at the park in personal vehicles, and many engage in motorized activities such as boating and taking scenic driving tours. No regular public transportation exists to the park.

The graph below, taken from our Climate Action Plan, shows our baseline emissions in 2007 broken down into sectors, including visitor travel.

GHG Emissions


Whiskeytown National Recreation Area intends to:

  • Reduce 2007 energy GHG emissions from park operations by 20 percent by 2016.
  • Reduce 2007 transportation GHG emissions from park operations by 20 percent by 2016.
  • Reduce 2007 waste GHG emissions from park operations by 10 percent by 2016.
  • Reduce total 2007 park GHG emissions, including visitors and concessioners, by 10 percent by 2016.
To read more about what we are doing at the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area about climate change, check out our Action Plan