'We The People' Petition Aims To Get More Clothing Optional Access To Federally-Managed Recreational Areas
DALLAS, Texas (January 17, 2014) -- On January 13, 2014, citizens who enjoy clothing optional recreation posted a petition on the Barack Obama administration's "We the People" website, asking policy makers to designate more federally-owned park lands, forests and beaches for clothing optional access. By January 16 the petition had gained the requisite 150 signatures to make the petition searchable and visible on the website.
The National Parks Service, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management has a long history of designating portions of federally-managed public lands for specific groups of recreational users. People who enjoy operating all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiling, skiing, surfing and hunting have all been beneficiaries of these special use designations.
There are a few recognized clothing optional beaches on lands managed by the National Park Service including Apollo Beach, Canaveral National Seashore in Florida and Gunnison Beach, part of the Sandy Hook unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey. These clothing optional beaches are not however officially designated as such by NPS. NPS merely tolerates nude sunbathing and skinny dipping at these locations because of long-standing traditions of clothing optional use of portions of these beaches.
At Fire Island National Seashore in New York, another NPS-managed recreational area, clothing optional use was permitted for decades by the National Parks Service until February 5, 2013. Citing increasingly heavy use by members of the public who were generally "not attuned to nude recreation," Chief Ranger Lena Koschmann decided to revoke clothing optional access and informed the public that New York state nudity laws would be enforced park wide. Now anyone who dares to bare at Fire Island runs the risk of being charged with a class B federal misdemeanor which can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months imprisonment.
Koschmann's decision was by fiat. No public hearing was held and no opportunity for public comment permitted in advance of the decision. That is one reason why informal clothing optional access is just not good enough. Those Americans who enjoy clothing optional recreation should be extended the same consideration as other groups who have portions of federal public lands specially set aside for other favored recreational pursuits. That is what motivated the petition.
Fact: Many people from all walks of life, not just those who identify as nudists and naturists enjoy clothing optional recreation.
Fact: Officially designated clothing optional areas would reduce the potential for user conflicts on federally-owned public lands since the areas would be segregated and properly signed. Those who are not attuned to nude recreation would not be exposed to nudity or find reason to feel offended as sometimes happens at sites where clothing optional is only informally tolerated by federal land managers.
Fact: With more than 536 million acres of parklands, forests and seashore recreational areas under management by the federal government, there is more than enough public lands to accommodate those who like clothing optional recreation without impacting in any way on other users.
Fact: The 2009 California poll commissioned by the Naturist Education Foundation and conducted by the prestigious Zogby International polling firm found that 79-percent of respondents agreed that people should be able to enjoy nude sunbathing on a beach or other location that is designated for that purpose and 70-percent agreed that areas should be set aside for people who enjoy clothing optional recreation.
Fact: Nude is not lewd. Nudity does not lead sex but sex sometimes leads to nudity. Clothing optional recreation is nothing more than ordinary outdoor pursuits that everyone else does only without the clothing. Nude swimming, kayaking, camping and hiking are but a few examples.
Fact: Clothing Optional Access advocates that people should be able to enjoy outdoor clothing optional recreation in appropriate settings like officially designated clothing optional recreational areas on public lands.
View the Petition at http://wh.gov/lIUyG
About Clothing Optional Access: Clothing Optional Access is an informal alliance of those who enjoy wholesome, outdoor nude recreation and who believe they are entitled to have officially designated clothing optional recreational areas they can access to pursue their recreational interests without fear of criminal prosecution or official harassment. Clothing Optional Access does not condone public lewdness or any unlawful activity. Clothing Optional Access respects the rights of those who may feel offended by non-consensual exposure to nudity to not be subjected to it and does not advocate the right for people to appear nude in all public places.
Larry Darter, Clothing Optional Access
dallasnudistcultureexamineryahoo [dot] com