Crystal clear waters at Whiskeytown Lake. Youth and dog swimming in the lake

Diving into the Lake: WHIS Park Planning Portfolio

Time flies! It’s week five and I am starting to dive into my main project this summer. I am working on the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Park Planning Portfolio and the General Management Plan (GMP) Review Memo draft. Last week, I completed the required training to access the systems where planning documents are stored. This week, I am setting myself up for success by creating a file structure template where I will organize all the planning documents I find during my search. Then I will read them to verify and document which planning documents help meet the four statutory requirements identified in 54 USC 100502, which states that GMPs shall include:

  1. measures for the preservation of the area’s resources;
  2. indications of types and general intensities of development (including visitor circulation and transportation patterns, systems, and modes) associated with public enjoyment and use of the area, including general locations, the timing of implementation, and anticipated costs;
  3. identification of and implementation commitments for visitor carrying capacities for all areas of the park; and
  4. indications of potential modifications to the external boundaries of the park, and the reasons for the modifications.

After that, I will draft a GMP Review Memo. Although every park is supposed to have a park planning portfolio, budgetary constraints require park planners to prioritize their work. Considering the GMP is 23 years old and 97% of the area was burned during the Carr Fire in 2018, Whiskeytown is high on the list. My supervisor will periodically review my work throughout the process, and my goal is to assemble the portfolio and have a memo draft done by the end of week 9. This way, I can create an exciting slideshow and prepare my presentation at the career workshop in Washington, D.C.!

About Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Located in Northern California, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is just six miles away from the city of Redding, CA. 

For Millenia, the Wintu and their ancestors lived in general harmony with the area’s land and water. Their living, in what is now the national recreation area, was altered substantially before, during, and after the California Gold Rush, as European Americans decimated California’s American Indian peoples through direct and indirect actions (read the story of Kate Camden and Indian Slavery). Nevertheless, the Wintu exist in northern California to this day, a testament to perseverance against all odds. When word got out about gold deposits along Clear Creek, European Americans, Chinese, and immigrants from other parts of the world poured into Northern California with hopes and dreams of striking it rich. Communities with the names of Whiskeytown, Oak Bottom, and Tower House sprang to life, and pioneer-settlers included Charles CamdenPhilena Camden and Levi Tower.

As the 1800s moved into the 1900s, water became the new gold. Visions involved storing and transferring northern California’s abundant rain and snow runoff to the drier farm fields of the Central Valley. Whiskeytown Lake, Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam, and Judge Francis Carr Powerhouse, all located within Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, were part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project. On a conservation and political tour of western states, U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy dedicated Whiskeytown Dam on September 28, 1963. This was Kennedy’s final visit to California; he was assassinated less than two months later. (Source:

LHIP Art Project 2023!

In addition, I am participating in this year’s LHIP cohort art project. Those of us who are participating got a nice art kit in the mail and met with artist Ará Nibar via Zoom last week. Since I’ll be visiting Whiskeytown Lake later this summer, my supervisor suggested I could paint Whiskeytown Lake, and I really loved that idea. I can’t wait to paint by the lake and present my artwork in D.C.!

Crystal clear waters at Whiskeytown Lake. Youth and dog swimming in the lake
Crystal clear waters at Whiskeytown Lake (Photo Credit: A. Tamura)
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