Creek Beach at Lake Tahoe is famous for being clothing optional. If you wanna sit in the sun naked, you can.
However, after a recent confrontation at the beach between law enforcement and nude sunbathers the sheriff in nearby Carson City is asking nude sunbathers to be "respectful."
Sheriff Ken Furlong told KNPR's State of Nevada that he is not exactly sure how the confrontation started but at one point it became "lewd," although he couldn't say what exactly the lewd behavior was.
Furlong explained that a boat patrol from Washoe County, which shares patroling the lake with Douglas County, saw the nude sunbathers and become involved in a conversation for some reason that turned into something more aggressive.
He said the group known as the Tahoe Area Naturalists are actually helpful.
“The group is primarily very, very cooperative and helpful to the U.S. Forest Service, who has that area. That includes cleanup of the areas and somewhat managing the people that are up there,” he said.
But for whatever reason, this confrontation became aggressive on both sides.
KNPR News reached out to the naturist but did not get a response.
“We have asked for their cooperation and their assistance in this matter and they have graciously complied with all of our requests,” Furlong said.
Despite this confrontation, Furlong said nude bathers have been around for a long time along the shores of Lake Tahoe and they will continue to be there.
“We have not considered putting any ban up there. It would be a challenge,” he said.
For one thing, the lake is large and the law enforcement agencies that share the burden of policing the lake now do not have the resources to find every nude sunbather on the lake.
Another problem is that the sunbathers have been there for years on beaches that aren't maintained by the Forest Service or other agencies. Furlong believes turning around something that has been there for 70 years would be "a hefty challenge" for local law enforcement.
Besides both of those issues, Furlong said they rarely get complaints about the nude bathers, who are often difficult to even spot. He called the confrontation "an isolated incident."
For the people who are going to sunbath nude, Furlong suggests covering up when needed.
“Keep the activity down. If there are visitors in the area that don’t welcome that activity, then you should cloth, you absolutely should,” he said.
Ken Furlong, sheriff, Carson City
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