Of the three parts of the Whiskeytown - Shasta - Trinity National Recreation Area, the Whiskeytown Unit (authorized Nov. 8, 1965 and established October 21,1972), is the only unit administered by the National Park Service. The Shasta and Trinity Units are administered by the U.S. Forest Service.
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area was established on November 8, 1965 "...to provide, in a manner coordinated with the other purposes of the Central Valley Project, for the public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment of the Whiskeytown, Shasta, Clair Engle and Lewiston reservoirs and surrounding lands in the State of California by present and future generations and the conservation of scenic, scientific, historic and other values contributing to public enjoyment of such lands and waters..."
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area encompasses 42,497 acres of shrubland, oak woodland, and forest that surround the 3,200 acre Whiskeytown Lake. The lake lies at the confluence of seven major streams, which not only provide drinking water for several municipalities, but also function as one of the largest watersheds feeding into the Sacramento River. The power and water supply functions of Whiskeytown Dam and reservoir are managed by the Bureau of Reclamation.