Wednesday, September 7, 2005

NAC Alert: Wreck Beach

Look at these beautiful bluffs and then imagine a number of high-rise residential towers on the bluffs overlooking the beach below.

Imagine some day the University of British Columbia now arguing that the traditional and legal clothing-optional beach now has to go because it might offend the people who are now living in those towers.

It could happen. Protect Wreck Beach now!

Photo by Judy Williams

Letter writing campaigns do work. Wreck beach is a superlative nude-venue . . . internationally-known and loved, and now the University of British Columbia in Vancouver threatens the beauty and serenity of this beach . . . and possibly the beaches' very existence. Do your part by making your opinion known. Rick


Copyright 2005 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 : September 7, 2005
SUBJECT: Wreck Beach, British Columbia
TO : All naturists

Dear Naturist,

The Naturist Action Committee (NAC) asks all naturists to unite in a worldwide grass roots e-mail writing campaign to save Wreck Beach from plans being made by the University of British Columbia (UBC) for three additional residence towers to overlook the beach. One tower is already being constructed. If the University is allowed to continue on its present course, a total of four towers will blight the beach forever.

This situation has been the focus of previous NAC Action Alerts. The decision by NAC to issue this new Action Alert was prompted by UBC's recent insistence on moving forward, despite public protests, with two more 18-story towers and a 14-story one. NAC asks for your help in a grass roots battle to preserve Wreck Beach. This new request is made in close cooperation with the Wreck Beach Preservation Society (WBPS), the Pacific Spirit Park Society (PSPS), and the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN).

This e-mail writing campaign is a NEW effort to preserve the magnificent view from Wreck Beach, including its forested cliff tops and its sense of wilderness.

The Wreck Beach Preservation Society will be binding copies of your e-mailed letters into a book for presentation at these meetings. So that we have documented proof of the contents and numbers of letters authorities are receiving, we ask that you please copy all e-mail correspondence (and whatever replies you may receive) to Judy Williams, NAC board member and Chair of the WBPS:

"Note: You probably want to include Judy as a Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc) instead of a regular Carbon Copy (Cc) in the emails you send to further imply to the recipients that you are writing of your own volition and not necessarily as a mass response. In my previous emails with GVRD officials I found that a personalized email got individualized replies rather that a piece of 'boiler-plate'. Rick"


Wreck Beach in Vancouver, BC, Canada is one of the most beautiful clothing-optional beaches in the world. Presently, the pristine forested cliffs above the beach have hidden any university buildings from view, giving beachgoers a natural backdrop that approaches wilderness despite closer proximity to the city. This precious heritage view is still enjoyed by boaters and people who visit the tidal flats today. The mistake of Tower #1 must not be allowed to be replicated three more times.


At the meeting of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) board of directors on July 29, 2005, GVRD basically supported preserving the natural views from Wreck Beach. We urge your letters to encourage the GVRD to hold the line on the line-of-sight recommended by their staff and to encourage the GVRD to ensure that visibility is measured prior to consideration of any new UBC building plans.


We urge you to become part of this important new effort. Whether or not you have written before, please write now in order to make a difference at the meetings of GVRD and UBC on September 21 and 22. Please send your e-mail correspondence to as many on the list as possible. Surface mail may not arrive in time.

Note: I have taken the liberty to insert 'email' links. The link will start a new message in your email program with the proper addressing (including Bcc to Judy), subject and beginning salutations . . . which, of course, you are free to edit. Rick

c/o Paulette Vetleson

c/o Kristian Nichols, GVRD

Gary Gibson, Electoral District A:
Councillor Raymond Louie:
Mayor Ralph Drew, Belcarra, BC:

Nicola Byres, UBC Board of Governors
Bryce Rositch, UBC Board of Governors
Chancellor Allan McEachern, UBC Board of Governors

Address e-mail to the above-named officials ...
c/o Shelley Jackson, GVRD Program Assistant

Martha Piper, President of UBC and Member, Board of Governors
c/o Shelley Jackson,

Judy Higginbotham

c/o Paulette Vetleson,

Johnny Carline, CAO of the GVRD
c/o Paulette Vetleson,


NAC is asking ALL CONCERNED INDIVIDUALS to send comments by e-mail. That includes residents of the US, as well as those who live in Canada and elsewhere. Vancouver and UBC pride themselves on their international appeal.


When you write, be sure to give your name and address. Anonymous correspondence is typically ignored. Be polite. Carefully express your outrage and your resentment, if you wish, but avoid threats and name-calling.

In your message, state very clearly that you OPPOSE the proposed towers.


Please use your own words. You may simply and respectfully ask decision-makers to consider the requests of the Wreck Beach Preservation Society, or you may elaborate on any of the following points:

1) ENCOURAGE the GVRD to continue to defend the line of sight
that will protect viewscapes from the beach toward the tops
of the cliffs.

2) STRESS THE URGENCY. With decisions about to be made at the
executive levels, call upon the GVRD to ensure that visibility
of the towers is measured prior to consideration of any
additional UBC building plans.

3) OPPOSE any bio-engineering (shaving of cliffs and planting
of replacement vegetation) and interceptor ditches to protect
buildings that should never have been built at the proposed
heights and locations UBC has planned.

More than any other issue, the potential loss of the wilderness-like setting has captured the attention of naturists and nature lovers from around the world. Simply put, the construction of towers looming over the beach would forever change the character of Wreck Beach.


As of September 1, 2005, over 40,000 persons have signed petitions opposing construction of the towers. You can still add your name to the petition online at


The Naturist Action Committee exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. NAC is a volunteer nonprofit organization that relies on the grass roots participation of those who understand that individuals working together can make a difference.

NAC has no membership roster on which to assess dues, and it relies completely on voluntary contributions from concerned and involved naturists like you. Monitoring developing situations and coordinating action across North America is expensive.

Won't you take a moment to help NAC by sending a generous donation? you may donate directly online, using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card by going to:

You may also send your contribution to the address below, or you may call toll free (800) 886-7230 during normal office hours to donate by phone, using your MasterCard or Visa.

PO Box 132
Oshkosh, WI 54903

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!


Judy Williams
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

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

To help you out with ideas, here is the email I sent to all addresses in the above list:


I read with growing concern about the building of four high-rise buildings being planned on the bluffs overlooking one of the most cherished natural surroundings in a world where such soul-renewing spots are disappearing within easy reach of people. I have visited the Wreck Beach many times . . . one of the destinations I always plan whenever I visit Canada and Vancouver from the States. There are few such open places remaining and Wreck Beach is a 'breath of fresh air' from the steel-concrete-and glass of the city. To have four tall, and large buildings rise up on the bluffs destroys the perception of visitors of 'paradise' just a little way from the city. Many visitors go to this area to escape the big city. And now the University of British Columbia wants to intrude the city back on the beach users?

I have been previously assured by representatives for the University of British Columbia that adequate technical and aesthetic studies have been performed with public input and that the "University will continue to maintain its commitments to development review procedures and to providing opportunities for public comment." Yet I still read of steady encroachment and diminishment of the views and perceived open-space of the beaches better-known as Wreck Beach and Spirit Park. When I last visited for the popular Bare Buns Fun Run Marathon this summer, I could not ignore the rising floors of Tower #1 already insinuating itself into the view of beachgoers. Nor could I ignore recent slides of unstable material from the bluffs that are indicative of the need for caution.

I question the necessity to site these buildings just where they are. Obviously, they give superlative views to the students who will live there and probably will make the UBC a prime choice among potential students . . . but at what cost? The buildings are inappropriate and will destroy the nature of Wreck Beach and the adjoining shoreline areas.

I am also extremely concerned about the environmental impacts of these buildings and the seemingly lack of any addressing of this issue by the university. In fact, there seems to be little or no public discussion on these impacts from the university side and one must ask 'why?' when the initial decision to go ahead was made in spite of strenuous objections from many quarters. The UBC is a construct of the people and I would expect that the spirit of academic freedom and discourse would apply in any impacts the university would have on the community it services . . . the people of British Columbia, Vancouver and the untold thousands of international visitors each year.

I am one of those international visitors and I spend a lot of money in the recreational activities that abound in the Greater Vancouver area . . . including the pristine shorelines like Wreck Beach that lead to hours of relaxation from a busy day in the glass towers of downtown Vancouver. What is needed is preservation of the beautiful scenery and wild areas we already have . . . not a diminishment of them.

I would hope that the University of British Columbia would reconsider the height and siting of these buildings; perhaps re-siting back from the bluffs or reducing the overall height with a view toward minimizing the visual impact from the beaches below.

UBC is a public institution and has an ethical obligation to be up-front and above-board in all its' dealing with the public . . . which means when a citizen asks questions about the process, the studies, the impacts; the university would answer those questions honestly, completely and with due haste. The University of British Columbia is a world-class university in a world-class city known for it's breath-taking natural views within city limits. Please don't destroy this legacy.

Therefore, I respectfully ask that reconsideration be given to the long-term effects these buildings will have on the perception of international visitors to the gorgeous Greater Vancouver area and everything this world-class setting stands for.


(Your full name and address if you want to be taken seriously)

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