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Nude Beach Left Out Of New Lower Wisconsin Riverway Master Plan

Naturist Groups Don't Hide Frustration With DNR Board

kenneth casper (CC-BY)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board has approved a new master plan for the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, which stretches 92 miles from the Prairie du Sac dam to the Mississippi River.

But supporters of a former “clothing-optional” beach said they feel the plan ignores their concerns.

The master plan calls for slightly expanding the riverway property and adding some recreational opportunities such as campsites and access for disabled hunters. The document does not call for re-opening the nude beach near Mazomanie that the state closed earlier this year.

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James Dickey, of the Friends of Mazo Beach, said his group and other naturists feel left out, especially since they say they have taken steps to encourage proper behavior at the site and reduce invasive plant species.

“No mention of the 2,000 petition signers expressing their support for continued inclusion of the beach. No mention of the stewardship, or the benefit to the economy,” Dickey said.

But DNR Board Member Julie Anderson said a master plan for state public lands shouldn’t include a clothing-optional beach.

“Because if we say it’s required in this plan, then it’s something coming up in every plan,” Anderson said.

The DNR said closing the Mazomanie beach was an administrative decision separate from the master planning process.

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