Apr 27, 2015 8:33 PM by Charlene Cheng
As Whiskeytown National Recreation Area turns 50 later this year, park officials are hoping to celebrate with another milestone.
"This would be the first National Park Service site to be a smoke-free park. The Oregon state parks in 2014, they all became smoke-free. We're using them as a model," Park Superintendent Jim Milestone said.
About a million guests visit every year, many with young children.
The proposed policy would limit all cigarette smoking to personal vehicles and boats.
"We really want to encourage here at Whiskeytown, healthy living, healthy lifestyles. That's probably our number one litter issue here in the park, that's cigarettes," Milestone said.
Visitors were torn about how they feel about a complete ban.
"We're going through major droughts and with the fires we've seen the last few years, it definitely should be done," Cody Watson said.
"We got enough rules. It's the Republican in me coming out. They have enough trouble enforcing the laws as it is. They're very busy in the summer," Ken Waranius said.
"In my opinion, the banning is a bit harsh, but I think it would be very advantageous if they had designated areas for smokers, because I know the littering is definitely a problem," Brian Murrell added.
Officials believe the fresh air will make for happier guests.
"I think more people will come to the park, because they'll know that when they come here, you'll have clean air, and hopefully the park will be a little neater. I think this is positive for the park, so I think that could really help out our visitation," Milestone said.
He also adds that he intends to include e-cigarettes in the proposal.
That will be included in the discussion at Tuesday night's meeting at Redding City Hall at 6 p.m.