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Wisconsin Closes Nude Beach Due to Sex and Drugs

After too much bad behavior, nudists are stripped of the right to visit the beach on weekdays.

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By McCarton Ackerman

03/20/13

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One of the most popular nude beaches in the country has been shut down on weekdays since authorities have been unable to control the rampant sex and drug use taking place on the sandbar and surrounding woods. The public beach on the Wisconsin River, about 25 miles northwest of Madison, draws as many as 70,000 visitors each summer from across the country. Even though public nudity is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin, local authorities have turned a blind eye to naked beachgoers in the area for decades. But illicit behavior on the beach has posed a growing problem, especially on weekdays when the area is less crowded. Authorities issued 92 citations for disorderly conduct or drugs on the beach between 2008 and 2012, 83 of them during the week. "Obviously we're disappointed when we have to shut any portion of our property down," says local law enforcement official Nate Kroeplin, "But our ultimate goal is to have a safe place anybody can feel comfortable using. And with the current activity going on down there, that's just not the case." The weekday closure of the beach and nearby islands and surrounding woods will be effective immediately, with all sites remaining open on weekends. Some nudist activists are enraged that beachgoers were not advised of the changes in advance. "Honestly, we're on their side when it comes to enforcing things that are lewd and lascivious," says Bob Morton, executive director of the Austin, Tex.-based Naturist Action Committee, which lobbies on behalf of nudists. "There's something to be said about consulting the users of the place."

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