By Bill Schroer - NAC Chair & GNI Member
On behalf of the entire NAC organization, we want to thank GNI and its board of directors for once again inviting us to participate in your annual NakedFest.
This year Jim Dickey, NAC Board member, and I attended the event, sponsored the social hour "Legally Nude" on Friday night, August 20, conducted a total of 8 workshops, and made a short report at the "Miss Lace 2021" event on Friday, August 27.
Jim and longtime supporter Seth Paronick hosted the "Legally Nude" social hour and I was told it was a big hit. A great way for us to welcome attendees on the first night of NakedFest and we appreciated that opportunity!
While I won't restate the report I provided at the "Miss Lace" event, I do want to take a moment to emphasize what we at NAC are seeing as we try to keep up with nudist events around the country...both positive and those challenging our ability to be "legally nude."
First, some very positive news. Thanks to donations from GNI and other generous naturists, NAC was one of the first and largest contributors to the effort to create Blind Creek Beach: the first new officially sanctioned nudist beach in the US in at least 20 years. Our contribution of $10,000 stimulated other gifts from private individuals and other naturist groups generating enough of a financial fund to provide the legal, administrative, lobbying, and other work needed to win the approval. Located outside of Fort Pierce, Florida, we invite you to visit this newest nude beach you helped create. More information can be found here: www.treasurecoastnaturists.org.
Additionally, the Naturist Education Foundation, a sister organization to the NAC, funded a national poll (again) in attitudes toward social nudism in the US. The findings were one of the workshops I conducted...but the topline is that adults in the US continue to support being able to swim or sunbathe nude at beaches designated for that purpose (74%), and agree nude beaches should be set up or designated to allow people to swim or sunbathe nude (74%). I hope to cover more results of this important study in a later article in BuffBuzz.
Now for the challenges. Little Beach on the island of Maui in Hawaii has a long history of accepted nude use. Under the cover of COVID and some behavior issues with the drum circle attendees over New Year's weekend (2021), the beach was closed. When reopened in March (after some tentative opening earlier), it was opened with prominent signs indicating "No Nudity." Rangers began ticketing visitors for being nude. This activity was done on a purely administrative basis. No laws were changed. We are working with a new group of beach activists (Friends of Little Beach) to get this changed, but it will be a tough slog. The notion is...to never become complacent about what we have. There are always those out there that will try to eliminate social nudism.
The Santa Fe National Forest (as well as several other national forests) have also promulgated an administrative "rule" outlawing public nudity in the National Forest. This is done in spite of the fact that it is not illegal to be nude on federal land. This is a very dangerous development and we are working to better understand how widespread this is and what we can do about it.
Another very challenging situation is the "aging out" of nudist resort owners who are placing their nudist resorts on the open market...with the result that most are being purchased by textiles who are converting them into non-nudist venues. This is extremely challenging and I hope to expand on this topic as well in a future article for BuffBuzz.
While there is more to report, and it is too late to make this a short article, I wanted to share at least some of what we are doing to help keep social nudism alive and well in the US. Thank you again for your generous contributions and support!