Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Considers Smoke-Free Swimming Beaches

Sunbathers at Brandy Creek Beach.

Sunbathers at Brandy Creek Beach at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. NPS photo.

It's tough to beat a warm summer day at one of the beaches at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in Northern California: sun, sand, cool water, scenery, and…no tobacco smoke? That's right. The park is thinking of making the four designated swimming beaches free of tobacco smoking. Have an opinion? The park is holding a public meeting to gather comments.

There are four designated swimming beaches in the park, and the park is inviting the public to attend a meeting to discuss a proposal to make those areas free of tobacco smoke. According to the park, "The pending rule would prohibit individuals from smoking on the sandy portion of the beaches at Brandy Creek, East Beach, Oak Bottom and Whiskey Creek Group Picnic Beach where the majority of park visitors sun bathe and congregate. The pending rule would designate picnic areas and parking lots and the forested areas immediately surrounding the popular beaches as areas where the public would be allowed to smoke.

"Each of these beaches is a designated swimming beach and serve as the premier beaches of Whiskeytown Lake," add park officials. "The majority of users at these beaches are women with children. Approximately 75% of the adult beach users do not smoke cigarettes. The National Park Service is considering this action to protect visitors from the carcinogenetic impacts of second-hand cigarette smoke and to reduce cigarette butt litter in the sand.

"Visitors who wish to smoke will either be directed to smaller coves and shoreline areas away from large public congregations such as the designated swimming beaches, or asked to move to the parking areas and nearby picnic areas a short distance from the beaches."

The area affected by the proposal is a small part of the park. The combined beach areas in the designated swim areas cover about 0.6 miles of the parks approximately 37 miles of shoreline on Whiskeytown Lake.

The public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at Redding City Hall on Tuesday evening, February 23, 2010. The meeting is scheduled to end at 8 p.m. Redding City Hall is located at 777 Cypress Avenue in Redding, California.

If you'd like to submit a comment by mail, you can write to the Superintendent, Whiskeytown NRA, P.O. Box 188, Whiskeytown CA 96095, or you can send an e-mail at this site.


Wonderful! I can't think of anything better than banning smoking in an area - especially a beach!

It's a wonderful idea for people like me who are very sensitive to smoke. I have trouble just standing near people who have smoked recently.

Born again non smoker here. I was one of the worst offenders when I was a smoker - I am ashamed to recall riding an elevator one day with a cigar in my hand. These days I can tell when the guy in the car ahead of me is exhaling out of his car window, because it comes right back into my car.

A smoke free area sure seems like a nice idea.