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  • NAC Action Alert: Oregon

    ************************************************** ********************
    NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
    ACTION ALERT
    ************************************************** ********************
    naturistaction.org
    ************************************************** ********************
    Copyright 2016 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.
    naturistaction.org/donate

    DATE : February 2, 2016
    SUBJECT: Oregon Department of Forestry
    TO : All naturists

    Greetings.


    This is an Action Alert from the Naturist Action Committee (NAC). In coordination with local Oregon naturists and groups, NAC is asking you to submit comments to the Oregon Department of Forestry, concerning proposed changes to rules that will affect naturists in State Forests. You need not be a resident of Oregon to write. Out-of-state responses can highlight the fact that visitors and vacationers bring much needed tourist dollars to the state of Oregon, which supports and benefits our public lands.

    QUICK BACKGROUND

    The Oregon Department of Forestry is accepting public comments regarding proposed changes to ODF's rules regarding conduct and activities within "Designated Recreation Areas" on state forest lands. In the NAC Action Alerts portion of the NAC website, you'll find a specific listing of those areas, all of which are located within the Clatsop, Tillamook and Santiam Forests. The total is more than a thousand acres.

    See a specific list of the affected areas: naturistaction.org/odf

    A legislative bill addressing ODF's management of State Forests was passed in 2015 by the Oregon legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Although that legislation (House Bill 2453) authorized ODF to require organizers to obtain permits prior to conducting large commercial events on state forestlands, lawmakers never mentioned the prohibition of nudity. ODF bureaucrats added that rule on their own.

    WHAT IS NAC ASKING YOU TO DO?

    Regardless of where you live, NAC is asking you to do just ONE THING:

    1) Immediately contact the Oregon Department of Forestry. Ask politely but firmly for removal of the rules that would make criminals of naturists by criminalizing nudity in State Forests. Those rules are not responsive to the call of the legislature, which asked only that ODF address large commercial events on state forestlands.

    By email: odf.sfcomments@oregon.gov

    By postal mail:
    Oregon Department of Forestry
    attn: Justin Butteris, State Forests Policy Analyst
    2600 State Street, Building D
    Salem, Oregon 97310


    Please send NAC a copy of your comment:
    odfcomments@naturistaction.org

    ***COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8th***

    WHAT IS NAC DOING?
    NAC began tracking HB 2453, the enabling legislation for this rulemaking, shortly after its introduction in the Oregon House of Representatives a year ago today. In its introduced, passed, signed, and chaptered form, the bill was not a particular threat to naturists. It was only after ODF announced specific rules in December, 2015, that it became clear it had placed naturists in the crosshairs.

    Immediately following ODF announcement of its proposed new rules, NAC Director Don Zirbel began talks with officials in the Department. Don is an Oregon resident and longtime public lands activist.

    One of the proposed rules would prohibit nudity of any sort in designated areas, and it opens the door to the possibility of broader anti-nudity rules on State Forest land. The nudity prohibition is a response to what ODF has said is a "conflict between user groups," a catch-all. In other words, some people had reported instances of simple nudity occurring in campgrounds located in these designated areas. At the public hearing on January 20th, Don Zirbel, representing the Naturist Action Committee, asked ODF if the nudity in question was associated with any specific inappropriate conduct (e.g., sexual activity, public intoxication, violence or vandalism, etc.). ODF's answer was: NO. From ODF's point of view, then, this is just about the nudity.

    At the hearing, Zirbel discussed multiple concerns that naturists have about the proposed rule change:
    ODF's "answer" in addressing complaints of simple nudity unfairly discriminates against a large and legitimate user group (naturists) in favor of another group (textiles). I cited the Naturist Education Foundation's public opinion surveys from 2015 to reinforce this point. This course of action contradicts ODF's stated goal of fairly addressing the values and interests of the forest's various user groups. "Designated Recreation Areas" is, by ODF's own definition, an open-ended term and can be revised at any time by the State Forester or anyone he or she may designate. There is no assurance that ADDITIONAL large areas of backcountry, popular with skinny-dippers and nude hikers, won't be included suddenly in the designated areas that are proposed to be off limits to naturists.

    ODF claims that instances of simple nudity are a minor infraction that would amount to little more than a traffic ticket. However, according to their own proposed regulations, an instance of nudity is considered an act of "criminal trespass," a Class C misdemeanor in the State of Oregon, subject to a 30-day jail term and/or a $1,250.00 fine.
    The Naturist Action Committee has also submitted a written response to ODF.

    NAC acknowledges and thanks the Northwest Region of the American Association for Nude Recreation for its commitment to this issue and the participation of its volunteers in a public meeting on the proposed rules.

    ***COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8th***

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    You can find additional information, including this NAC Action Alert, at naturistaction.org/odf
    or by visiting the NAC web site, naturistaction.org and clicking on ALERTS.

    On NAC's Action Alert page for the ODF proposed rules, you'll find links to the enabling legislation, a list of the State Forest properties that would be affected, and the texts of the proposed rules on which we're focusing.

    PLEASE HELP NAC CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!

    The Naturist Action Committee is a nonprofit volunteer adjunct to The Naturist Society, a membership organization. Since its inception, NAC has been committed to vigorous public lands activism on behalf of naturists. NAC has no membership roster and receives no dues money. NAC relies entirely on the voluntary financial support of concerned naturists like YOU.

    After you send you email or letter to the Oregon Department of forestry, won't you please send a generous donation to NAC?

    NAC
    PO Box 132
    Oshkosh, WI 54903


    Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 (8AM-4PM, Central Time, weekdays) to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:

    naturistaction.org/donate

    Thank you for choosing to make a difference!

    Naturally,
    Don Zirbel
    Director
    Naturist Action Committee


    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
    Executive Dir. Bob Morton - <execdir@naturistaction.org>
    Board Member Don Zirbel - <orcoba@live.com>
    Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <naturist@sunclad.com>
    ---------------------------------------------------------------








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