06/14/2014 08:52 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mazo Beach, One Of Country's Most Popular Nudist Destination, Fights For Survival


To keep clothing optional at Wisconsin's embattled nudist beach, action is mandatory.

Naturists, as some nudists prefer to be called, are coming to grips with the naked truth that the days of enjoying Mazo Beach in the buff might be coming to an end.

On Friday, the Naturist Society sent an "urgent" email alert calling for allies to bare their opposition to a state plan that calls for law enforcement to end years of de facto tolerance for skinny dipping.

"Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand," the email reads.

The sandbar about 25 miles from Madison is one of the most popular destinations for nude beachgoers. Some estimates say that 70,000 visitors frolic in the freshwater, on the beach and in the surrounding woods each year, The New York Times says.

Exposing one's genitals is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin, but authorities in liberal Dane County have looked the other way for decades.

There is a June 19 deadline for public comment about the management plan for the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, which includes provisions threatening the nudists' limited use of Mazo Beach.

A petition asks people to declare that they "support the continued inclusion of long-standing traditional clothing-optional usage of the beach," and that "whether or not I choose nude recreation as my personal option, I oppose any action by the [Department of Natural Resources] or any other public officials to restrict or eliminate such usage."

Officials had already shut the beach and the surrounding area on weekdays during the past year and cracked down on public sex and drug use in the area, WISC-TV reports. Citations for those acts have remained steady since officials shut the beach, officials told the station.

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Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to nudists as "naturalists" instead of "naturists."