NAC Advisory

July 21, 2009








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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
Copyright 2009 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: July 21, 2009
SUBJECT: California Advisory
TO: All naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is an advisory from the Naturist Action Committee (NAC) concerning an important situation in the state of California.

Responding to a request from legal counsel for the California Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR), the California Court of Appeal for the 4th District has published the previously unpublished ruling it rendered last month in the San Onofre State Beach case. The recent appellate ruling overturned a 2008 Superior Court victory by the Naturist Action Committee and Friends of San Onofre Beach, a local naturist group.

At issue is whether DPR has followed proper procedure in abruptly ending the application of the Cahill/Harrison regulation at San Onofre State Beach. Cahill/Harrison is long-standing and well-known means for managing and regulating the clothing-optional use of portions of state parks.

The unpublished ruling applied only to San Onofre State Beach. However, publication gives the ruling greater precedential effect and allows the possibility that rangers may ignore the Cahill policy and may begin issuing citations for nudity at other state parks under Title 14, Section 4322 of the California Code of Regulations.


It has been suggested by some that the Cahill Policy has remained in effect throughout the years entirely through the good will of the California Parks Department. If that has been so, then the good will ended in May, 2008, when Parks Director Ruth Coleman singled out San Onofre State Beach and said, "Cahill does not apply there."

From that moment, the Cahill Policy became badly damaged goods. If it could be terminated abruptly and without appropriate process or public involvement at one state park, then it could happen at any state park, at any time. So much for good will.

Trusting the good will of public officials for something as important as protection from arrest for benign behavior has never been an intelligent choice. Relying on that same promise of good will after the trust has been publicly and intentionally broken is simply folly.


Confronted with the crippling damage dealt to the Cahill Policy at San Onofre, the Naturist Action Committee faced a basic choice. It could accept the loss of San Onofre, it could negotiate, or it could fight.

When the Parks Department refused to negotiate, NAC chose to fight.

NAC did not, and does not, look on the Cahill/Harrison regulation as a matter of good will. Itís a regulation, and it has been used exactly as regulation by each successive administration of the California Parks Department for THIRTY YEARS.

The Superior Court accepted NAC's contention that Cahill/Harrison is a regulation. The Court of Appeal recognized it as a regulation, too, though its different view concerning quality and extent were what allowed the reversal of the Superior Courtís procedural requirements for undoing the regulation.

NAC's legal challenge to DPRís arbitrary destruction of Cahill at San Onofre did not cripple Cahill. That damage quite clearly had already been inflicted. Trusting "good will" while waiting for the next shoe to drop will NOT restore the damaged Cahill Policy. And at NO point has it EVER been true that accepting the loss of San Onofre will somehow inoculate naturists against the similar loss of another California beach or another California state park.


DPR spokespersons have given conflicting information. One predicted that the Department would "tread lightly" on the matter of citations for nudity in state parks. Referring to San Onofre, another has said that no action was planned until at least after Labor Day. The truth is that there's really no way to know for sure.


Later this week, the Naturist Action Committee will file its petition to have the case heard by the California Supreme Court.

NAC will continue to issue Action Alerts, Advisories and Updates on this issue as circumstances require. Look for them.


Details of this situation and specifics of the Cahill/Harrison Regulation and associated documents may be found on the NAC Web site:

There, you will find background documents related to the Cahill Policy, the Harrison letter and NAC's lawsuit. You will also find this NAC Advisory on the NAC Web site: . Click on ALERTS, ADVISORIES & UPDATES, and look under Current Advisories.


The Naturist Action Committee remains committed to the vigorous defense of the clothing-optional use of public land. Activism on behalf of naturists can be expensive. NAC relies entirely on the voluntary financial support of people like YOU.

Won't you please send a generous donation to:

   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:

Thank you for choosing to make a difference.


Bob Morton
Executive Director
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       -
Board Member Allen Baylis       -
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  -

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