NAC Advisory
Lake Willoughby  - Westmore, Vermont
April 28, 2008


  • Skinny-dipping has been popular for decades at the southwest cove of Lake Willoughby.
  • May 11, 2007: The Vermont Legislature adopts a resolution (JRH 37) authorizing the Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation (FPR) to sell off the state-owned "Cheney House" property, a maintenance-hungry albatross with some historic significance. Cheney House is located near the southwest cove of Lake Willoughby. The resolution was introduced on May 9, 2007, and was adopted a mere two days later, without a public hearing.
  • October 15, 2007: FPR Commissioner Jonathan Wood addresses the Selectboard of the Town of Westmore in open session and suggests that if the Selectboard would pass an ordinance banning nudity, the State of Vermont would take the responsibility of enforcing it at Lake Willoughby. The suggestion and offer by the FPR Commissioner is documented in the official minutes of the October 15, 2007, Selectboard meeting.
  • January 21, 2008: Tony and Sharon Strange present a petition to the Westmore Selectboard, asking that the town ban nudity, as suggested by FPR Commissioner Wood. The petition is withdrawn, but the Westmore Selectboard votes to seek legal advice on the adoption and implementation of a ban on nudity.
  • February, 2008: NAC becomes involved.
  • March 4, 2008: At the annual Westmore town meeting, anti-nudity advocate Tony Strange claims to have 30 signatures on his anti-nudity petition. He also claims the support of the Westmore Church Deacons and the Westmore Association. Strange reminds residents of the FPR commitment to enforce a nudity ban at Lake Willoughby if the town will pass the ordinance. Strange's remarks are included in the official minutes of the March 4, 2008, town meeting.
  • March 17, 2008: George Crombie, Secretary of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources, issues a strongly worded letter, declaring that "[t]he Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation has not approached the town to put a ban on nudity on the town ballot." Crombie goes on to urge locals to "check with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation in the future when you hear rumors that cause you concern."

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DATE: April 28, 2008
SUBJECT: Lake Willoughby - Westmore, Vermont
TO: All Naturists

Dear Naturist,

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

In Westmore, VT, a clothing-optional beach on Willoughby Lake had been threatened by a petition to ban nudity in that town. However, the petition had to be withdrawn due to improper wording and submission, and is no longer a direct threat. The Westmore Selectboard has decided to hold a moderated public hearing on the issue and receive written public comments, but is not planning any action at this time. Friends of Willoughby, a local users group, has planned specific action steps, including a clean-up of a clothed beach on Willoughby Lake, as a community service and good-faith gesture towards the town.


The Naturist Action Committee has been working closely with and facilitating the organization of a local users group known as Friends of Willoughby. Friends of Willoughby will spearhead the effort to oppose any future anti-nudity ordinance in the town of Westmore.

Since February, NAC board member Virginia Schnee has supported Friends of Willoughby by providing guidance at their meetings, written materials to support their efforts, and assistance with the drafting of press releases, letters to the editor, and a letter to the Westmore Selectboard.

This is an advisory. NAC is asking that you NOT take action at this time. Any participation from naturists outside of Westmore and the surrounding Vermont towns, no matter how well intentioned, may not be taken favorably by the Selectboard and could seriously jeopardize the carefully organized efforts of NAC and Friends of Willoughby.

An alarmist email from another naturist activist may have asked you to write letters to the Selectboard and for your participation in the public hearing. However, NAC asks that if you wish to do so, to first contact Friends of Willoughby and coordinate with them to be most effective. Please call Dave Timson, at 802-748-5668, or email at:

Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC Action Alert on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee.

Select "Alerts" and find this NAC Action Alert under Current Alerts.

The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. Identifying and fighting bad local lawmaking is necessary, but it's expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you. To donate to NAC, use the address below:

      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:

Thank you for choosing to make a difference.


Virginia Schnee
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Director Bob Morton -
Board Member Virginia Schnee –
Online Representative Dennis Kirkpatrick -


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