A new anti-nudity rule, proposed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources seeks to prohibit nudity at all DNR-administered locations throughout the state.
We can refer to this proposed anti-nudity as “a part of Board Order PR-03-20.”
The rule would apply to all the familiar DNR properties in the state, but the paranoid Natural Resources administrators poured extra effort (and wording) into making certain they had driven a stake through the heart of Mazo Beach. For years and years, Mazo was a popular spot for clothing-optional recreation on the Wisconsin River. Access to the location was closed altogether by the DNR a number of years ago.
WHAT THIS PROPOSED RULE IS:
1. This proposed new rule amounts to a strict-liability prohibition against nudity. It does not take into account the circumstances of the nudity, EXCEPT breastfeeding, the use of restrooms, bath houses , showers, changing facilities, or privately-owned camping units. It does not require that the nudity be indecent or offensive – just nude.
2. This proposed new rule would make offenders of women who choose to wear commercially-available swimwear that exposes a portion of their derriere. In case you haven’t been paying attention, that’s most swimsuits made to be worn by women, nowadays.
3. Those who are deemed to have broken this rule can expect to be assessed a total of approximately $200, which includes forfeiture, penalty surcharge, and court costs.
4. Those who break this rule may be prevented from returning to DNR property for 48 hours or more.
WHAT THIS PROPOSED RULE IS NOT:
1. This proposed rule is NOT a measure that has been introduced in the state legislature. Although it comes the same time at which lawmakers are considering measures that target nudity, this DNR rule-making it not directly related to the state lawmaking. The legislative bills are:
Assembly Bill 503, Assembly Bill 504, Senate Bill 377, Senate Bill 378.
If you are opposed to both the proposed DNR rule AND the anti-nudity state legislation, you must address your DNR concerns SEPARATELY from your legislative concerns. See below.
2. Unlike State Senators or State Assembly members, you cannot vote directly for or against those who have created and proposed this anti-nudity rule. The Department of Natural Resources is controlled by the Natural Resources Board, the members of which are appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
WHAT IS THE NATURIST SOCIETY FOUNDATION DOING?
As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, TNSF cannot lobby politically on behalf of a proposed law or rule, or against it. However, we certainly can make our members – and the community at large – aware of what’s going on. And we feel we must.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you’re a Wisconsin resident, you can certainly contact the DNR to speak your mind concerning its proposed anti-nudity rule. And although we will not specify what you should say, we really hope you will exercise your right to say it!
The DNR is allowing comments on Rule NR 45.04 section 37 (that’s us) by ZOOM on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at 4:30 PM CST. This is a part of a greater package called “CR 23-060.”
Other people will by contacting DNR at the same time to comment on other parts of the 39-page rule-making. It’s hard to believe that this is going to go smoothly, but it’s what we’ve been given to work with.
The hearing will start at 4:30 p.m. and is being held via Zoom. Registration is required and can take place at any time (including before the hearing starts). Here is a direct link to the registration for the public hearing: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lcQOKSHeRB6AD3boIedyzQ#/registration. Once registered, this is the same link to use to join the hearing. All comments, regardless of format (email, U.S. mail, voice mail, oral testimony) will be given the same weight and consideration.
However, if you cannot get your comment in by ZOOM on December 5, you may submit your comments by mail or phone through December 10, 2023.
Submit written comments and any questions on the proposed rules to:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Attn: Brigit Brown
P.O. Box 7921
101 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707-7921
DNRFWPPRGuidance@wisconsin.gov or 608-219-1295