Thursday, December 10, 2009

Update: Diamond Fork HS Citations

An Important Distinction as you read these articles: In Utah the state constitution ceded National Forest lands to the Federal government under proprietary jurisdiction. Under such an arrangement, state and county laws 'trump' Federal code. Here, in Washington State (and Oregon), National Forest lands were ceded with concurrent jurisdiction . . . which allows state law to be enforced, but not county ordnances. Rick

"The U.S. Forest Service may not care about nude soakers, but the sheriff's office will enforce anti-lewdness laws." Utah County Sherriff's Lt. Yvette Rice quoted in a news article on the citations in the Deseret News

Nude bathers cited at Utah County hot springs
December 10th, 2009 @ 8:11am, Online Article Retrieved Dec 10th, 2009

UTAH COUNTY -- A confusing sign is coming down after a group of people were cited for skinny dipping at a hot springs in Utah County.

The Deseret News reports Utah County sheriff's deputies cited eight adults for lewdness at Diamond Fork Springs in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest on an October evening just before midnight.

A spokeswoman with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Lorraine Januzelli, says a sign posted near the springs warns bathers to be mindful of families and implies nudity at the springs is not illegal. Januzelli tells the Deseret News the forest service will take down the sign because it is causing confusion.

Some naturists are angry about the incident and tell the newspaper they tentatively plan a "soak-in" to protest.

The sheriff's office says it has repeatedly received reports of criminal activity, including sexual assaults, underage consumption of alcohol, and drug use at the hot springs.

The Comments Page has a large number of lively comments.

Also . . .

At Diamond Fork hot springs, get naked -- get cited

Spanish Fork » State and local laws hold sway when it comes to doffing the duds.

... The Utah County site apparently had become an unofficial haven for skinny dipping, until eight nude bathers were detained by sheriff's deputies in October. The group of men and women were issued class B misdemeanor citations for lewdness.
The eight complained that a Forest Service sign near the site just east of Spanish Fork made it sound like bathing in the buff was allowed, but the citations were issued anyway, because state and county statutes are clear about public nudity being a no-no.

Lorraine Januzelli, spokeswoman for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, said both the deputies and the skinny dippers were right -- and the forest plans to remove the sign and, eventually, replace it with another one making clear the naked truth.
"The sign does say 'while nudity is not prohibited on forest trails,'" Januzelli said. "It also advises discretion, though, noting that the area is used by families and scouting troops."

The Code of Federal Regulations governing the forest does not prohibit nudity except where it can easily be observed by another person who may be offended.
In some states, that is that. But in other states classified as "proprietary" under their constitutions, such as Utah, state and county laws regarding nudity trump the federal code, Junuzelli explained.

"The sign will be coming down in the next couple days, as soon as the snow allows the rangers to remove it," she said Thursday. Sometime later, a new sign -- referencing state and county statutes banning public nudity -- will replace the marker.
Nudity has been banned for some time on the Wasatch-Cache portion of the forest, but it had not specifically been prohibited on the Uinta part. The two forests were merged in 2008, and apparently no one noticed the discrepancy until the eight citations were issued Oct. 11. ...

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