NAC Advisory - Lake Willoughby, Westmore, VT

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NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE ADVISORY
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Copyright 2008 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its entirety and without alteration.

DATE : November 12, 2008
SUBJECT: Lake Willoughby, Westmore, VT
TO : All Naturists

Dear Naturist,

This is an Advisory from the Naturist Action Committee concerning Lake Willoughby, which is located in the town of Westmore, Vermont, and lies within the Willoughby State Forest.

BRIEF HISTORY AND DISCUSSION

During this past year, a clothing-optional beach on Lake Willoughby in Westmore, VT, was threatened by a petition to ban nudity in that town. The Westmore Selectboard held two moderated public hearings on the issue before choosing to table the issue indefinitely.

After the matter appeared to be settled, one of the three members of the Selectboard resigned due to health reasons. The Westmore resident who had petitioned the Selectboard in January to ban nudity in the town began a campaign for election to the vacant seat, but he was defeated by a substantial margin at a town meeting on September 4.

Members of the local naturist group, Friends of Willoughby Southwest Cove (FOW), were vigorous opponents of the proposal to ban nudity. Several of the Westmore residents who had initiated and supported the petition to ban nudity subsequently targeted a particularly visible member of Friends of Willoughby by lodging a complaint in July with the Vermont Department of Forest and Parks (FPR) and claiming environmental damage to the clothing-optional beach area. At the end of August, FPR sent letters to the FOW President and another member ordering them to appear at a meeting with FPR officials on September 18, 2008, to discuss the alleged environmental “crime.”

Although the meeting was not portrayed as a direct threat to the beach, NAC has determined that it may be retribution for opposition to the anti-nudity ordinance, and/or an attempt to intimidate FOW members, detering them from taking part in grassroots activism to protect the clothing-optional status of the beach. To represent the two FOW members, as well as the interests of naturists, NAC carefully identified, interviewed and retained a well qualified local attorney.

The attorney contacted FPR and requested information concerning the case. FPR suddenly postponed the meeting, saying that it required more time to compile the necessary information. FPR has since sent documentation to the attorney and has rescheduled the meeting for mid-November.

WHAT IS NAC DOING?

NAC board member Virginia Schnee has supported Friends of Willoughby SWC by providing guidance at their monthly meetings and taking part in their meetings with legal counsel. Since March 2008, NAC has been working closely with Friends of Willoughby SWC, who will continue to spearhead the local effort to oppose any future anti-nudity ordinance in the town of Westmore, VT.

The Naturist Action Committee has retained an attorney to protect the rights of Friends of Willoughby SWC members for the matter involving the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation.

WHAT IS NAC ASKING YOU TO DO?

This is an advisory. NAC is asking that you DO NOT take action at this time. Participation from naturists outside of Westmore and the surrounding Vermont towns, no matter how well intentioned, could possibly jeopardize the carefully organized local efforts of NAC and Friends of Willoughby.

MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC Action Alert on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee. Go to: http://www.naturistaction.org and then select “Alerts” to find this NAC Action Alert under Current Alerts.

PLEASE HELP NAC TO CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. Legal representation is sometimes necessary, but it’s expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you. Please donate generously to NAC.

NAC
PO Box 132
Oshkosh, WI 54903

Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation: http://www.naturistaction.org/donate/

Thank you for choosing to make a difference.

Naturally,

Virginia Schnee
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Director Bob Morton - execdir@naturistaction.org
Board Member Virginia Schnee - virginia@schnee.com
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - naturist@sunclad.com
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