NAC Action Alert
BRITISH COLUMBIA: 3-Mile Beach, Penticton
February 27, 2015

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                           ACTION ALERT
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http://www.naturistaction.org
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Copyright 2015 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: February 27, 2015
SUBJECT: 3-Mile Beach, Penticton, BC
TO: All naturists and other concerned citizens

Attention naturists:

This is an Action Alert from the Naturist Action Committee (NAC), concerning 3-Mile Naturist Beach on Okanagan Lake in Penticton, BC, Canada. In coordination with the local naturist activists of 3-Mile Beach Naturist Committee and other users who are national and international, NAC is requesting you to take specific action by March 2, 2015, via e-mail or telephone, or both. NAC asks that you:

   1) defend 3-Mile Beach, a site for clothing-optional sunbathing and swimming since 1929, against a proposed ban on nude sunbathing and swimming that would include a $100 fine to be levied against each naked person.

   2) oppose efforts, official and otherwise, to terminate the traditional and historical clothing-optional use of 3Mile Beach. 

IMMEDIATE NEED
On February 2, 2015, a delegation opposed to the clothing-optional use of 3-Mile Beach appeared before Mayor and Council of Penticton, BC, in an attempt to discredit naturists, their friends, and their families at a time when they would least likely be at the beach, and could not be easily mobilized. The adversaries of naturism have been the loudest voice that has been heard on this issue to this point.

Your participation is urgently needed. The need for public comment on the suggestion for closing the beach in time for next summer is NOW! Your comments must be received immediately so councillors will have them before the Council meeting on the evening of March 2nd. At that meeting, the 3-Mile Naturist Beach Committee will be presenting its opposition to the potential and Staff-recommended, abrupt termination of clothing-optional usage. NAC board member Judy Williams will also be presenting to the Council. Williams has been working closely with 3-Mile Beach naturists and other involved groups, including Metro Vancouver Parks, Federation of Canadian Naturists, International Naturist Federation, naturist business owners, South Florida Free Beaches and B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation.

DISCUSSION

Three Mile Beach is located on a point near the outskirts of the city of Penticton and has been known as Penticton's unofficial clothing-optional beach for almost a century. For an expanded narrative, please refer to this NAC Action Alert on the NAC web site. http://naturistaction.org/3-mile

3-MILE NATURIST BEACH COMMITTEE

NAC recognizes that individual local activists and groups of local activists are essential to grass roots success. The 3-Mile Naturist Beach Committee (3-MNBC) seeks appropriate advisory signage at the top of the stairs at the beach, directing naturists to the clothing-optional/naturist section that exists north along the beach.

3-MNBC are asking Council to:

   1) Direct staff to allow an informational/advisory sign to be installed at the top of the steps leading down to the beach advising people that they "may encounter clothing optional beach use beyond this point." The reverse of that sign should ask beach users to wear "appropriate attire beyond this point."

   2) Develop a comprehensive plan for the beach accommodating both textile and naturist users. The goal of the process is to produce a plan that is based on and influenced by public preferences, existing statutes, administrative codes, scientific data, the best capabilities of the resources, and the judgment of resource management professionals to address management and recreational issues. Local and regional recreational supply, economy and social conditions must also be considered.

WHAT IS WHAT IS NAC ASKING YOU TO DO?

NAC is reaching out to naturists throughout Canada and the United States because many of you outside of British Columbia (and some outside Canada!) have been visitors to 3-Mile Beach. The idea is to let Mayor and Council realize they have many naturists across North America who are watching and listening to what their plans might be for this wondrous little gem of a beach.

NAC is asking you to take specific action: WRITE TO THESE OFFICIALS

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit
Andrew.Jakubeit@penticton.ca
Corporate Officer Dana Schmidt
Dana.Schmidt@penticton.ca

Please send copies of your email to the following, so that members of the Council have copies as well.

Councillor Picton <
Max.Picton@penticton.ca>
Councillor Sentes <
judy.sentes@penticton.ca>
Councillor Konanz <
Helena.Konanz@penticton.ca>
Councillor Martin <
Andre.Martin@penticton.ca>
Councillor Watt <
Campbell.Watt@penticton.ca>
Councillor Sayeed <
Tarik.Sayeed@Penticton.ca>

WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?
The Penticton Mayor and Council are open to hearing from 3-Mile Beach users. Even if you are not a regular user, even if you've been to the beach just one time, it is vital that your voice be heard.

When you're writing, be polite and concise. Share your personal perspective of the specialness of the beach. Explain how you are a good steward, and how you care for the beach and area. Regulars rake the beach each morning and pick up broken glass occasionally left behind by overnight users. Mention the ways in which you support the local economy as a result of your visits to the beach and its surrounding area (gas, groceries, motels, restaurants, tourist attractions, etc).

Here are some other simple points you may wish to make:

  1. 3-Mile Beach has been a traditional skinny-dipping location since at least 1929. Beyond its use by Native Americans, local field and construction workers skinny-dipped in the area. Some current beach users have been skinny-dipping at the beach since the 1950s. Generations of families enjoy and value the beach, decade after decade. You'll find naturists there ranging from newborns to elders in their 90's. 

  2. Over the decades, naturist and non-naturist users have, at times, shared neighboring sections of beach. At other times, they have used the same section of beach in harmony. Other user groups also share the same small piece of sand simultaneously and in harmony. It's a great example of a successful multi-user group land management plan. 

COPY NAC ON YOUR CORRESPONDENCE
You can help the effort by letting us know what you've said. Please send copies of your correspondence to NAC: 3-mile@naturistaction.org

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
You can find additional information, including this NAC Advisory, at http://naturistaction.org/3-mile or by visiting the NAC web site www.naturistaction.org and clicking on ALERTS.

PLEASE HELP NAC CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!
The Naturist Action Committee is a nonprofit volunteer adjunct to The Naturist Society, a membership organization. NAC is committed to vigorous activism on behalf of the responsible clothing-optional use of public lands. NAC has no membership roster and receives no dues money. NAC relies entirely on the voluntary financial support of concerned naturists like YOU. 

The essential response to the frightening threat at 3-Mile Beach has already become expensive. 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:

   
www.naturistaction.org/donate/ 

Thank you for choosing once again to make a difference.

Naturally,
Judy Williams,
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee
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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Director Bob Morton   - 
execdir@naturistaction.org 
Board Member Judy Emily Williams- 
jewilliams1943@gmail.com 
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  - 
naturist@sunclad.com 
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EXPANDED NARRATIVE
   by NAC board member Judy Williams

       Naturists have established a tradition of clothing-optional use at 3-Mile Beach since 1929. Unfortunately, use of the beach has not been without conflict. Lately, two property owners, one of whom is a non-resident, have been spearheading a movement to shame and displace the naturists who frequent the area. One of the owners installed surveillance cameras, fencing and hired guards to patrol the fencing to prevent naturists from crossing his slide-prone land to access the pubic foreshore.

       Three Mile Beach is located on a point near the outskirts of the city of Penticton and has been known as Penticton's unofficial clothing-optional beach for almost a century. Once the site of a logging flume and booming operation, it later became a stop for paddle wheelers, and became renowned for its agricultural operations.  Cattle grazing, gave way to orchards and lately, the area is most widely known for its world-class vineyards and wineries.

       While the tradition of clothing-optional beach use may have started out of necessity to service the needs of a transient labour force working in the agricultural industry, the area offers rich bio-diversity to those seeking a naturist experience, with essential wildlife corridors and riparian habitat vital to the survival of several species at risk, including the blue listed, blue-tailed skink

       The numbers of people who come there on a typical high season summer's day say in July or August or even October, it is not uncommon to accommodate between 150-200 visitors daily. The beach is frequented by locals and targeted by tourists as a place to get away and enjoy a naturist experience in the Okanagan.  Usage of the beach has increased in the last decade, we believe, due to changing cultural values and an aging population.  The beach season runs from early May, to early October.

       Mostly a quiet place, the beach is frequented historically by clothing-optional beach use which has occurred to the north of the city-owned beach in front of a privately- held agricultural holding. In the late 90's the community started cleaning up the area and some of that beach use spilled over onto private property that was the site of a land slip (causing what the locals called a ``tsunami"). There was considerable effort put into cleaning the area up and creating a terraced sun bathing area above the lakeshore. In early 2014, the owner of that property abruptly decided, after 7 years of complacency that he was putting an end to the use of property and the crown land in front of it, thus last summer's fencing, surveillance cameras and hired guards to physically prevent access.

       This ruckus finally led Penticton's Mayor in Summer of 2014 to allow naturist use on the ``City" beach. While historically, the clothing-optional beach use was contained north of the willow tree on provincial crown land and along the very front of an undeveloped agricultural holding, the city beach has been known as an under-utilized asset in this community. It was never uncommon to see people sunbathing in the altogether along this strip of sand and most days it was not a problem. Until about 2011, the Chamber of Commerce website listed Three Mile Beach as Penticton's unofficial clothing-optional beach. Prior to 2014, a busy day on the city beach would see about 15 to 20 visitors and those visitors have always been able to see the clothing-optional beach use slightly to the north.

       We believe this current conflict may be an early warning of the documented parks and recreation deficit in Penticton's north east sector, as well as, a slightly uncommon variation of a typical land use conflict between agricultural use and residential areas.  In this instance the property owner is claiming that the recreational use of the city beach and the provincially-controlled foreshore is affecting his property values. We don't believe this to be true, as this owner bought the property in 2006 knowing full well that the beach below it was used by the community.

       3-Mile Beach affords diverse recreational opportunities, including fishing, canoeing, bird watching and beach activities. Skinny-dipping has been a traditional activity there since the 1920's. A City Council edict in 1933 banned nude sunbathing and swimming there, but the practice has continued for decades.

       Adversaries of nude recreation frequently point to Section 174 of the Canadian Criminal Code. That section restricts public nudity in certain contexts. However, no proceedings can commence under Section 174 without the consent of the Attorney General.