Yes, nudity is permitted on BLM Land. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not have any rules “in general” addressing nudity on their lands. However, each BLM state office, or field office, may at their discretion prohibit nudity or lewd behavior. In addition, the BLM allows state and local laws to apply to their lands.
Is Nudity Permitted on BLM Land?
The Bureau of Land Management has very few rules regarding personal behavior on their lands. Nowhere in these rules do they address nudity.
There is, however, one rule that addresses “public disturbance”…
(a) No person shall cause a public disturbance or create a risk to other persons on public lands by engaging in activities which include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) Making unreasonable noise; (2) Creating a hazard or nuisance;§ 8365.1-4 Public health, safety and comfort.
But, that’s it. That’s all the BLM has to address nudity.
That’s not to say, however, you are free to go fully nude in public on BLM lands. If someone else feels “disturbed” by your public nudity, he or she may decide to call the Sheriff’s office or the local BLM field office, and try to get someone to come out. But even if a Sheriff’s deputy or BLM officer does come out to investigate, it still doesn’t mean you will be forced to put on clothing, be cited or arrested.
Beware of State and Local Laws
Take note that the BLM allows state and local officials to enforce state and local laws on their lands. The BLM has another rule (see § 8365.1-7 State and local laws) that permits state police and county Sheriffs to answer calls and make patrols on BLM lands.
All states have laws addressing public nudity to some lesser or greater degree, and these laws still apply to BLM lands.
Thus, even though the BLM doesn’t mind you being nude on their lands, it could still be a violation of state law, and still enforceable on BLM lands.
911 Calls Will Go Straight to the County Sheriff
If someone sees you naked outside, and they decide to call 911 to report you, that call will go to Sheriff’s Department, not the BLM. A Sheriff’s Deputy will come out and will enforce the State law, not the BLM rules.
But, it depends on what the state and local laws say. As long as you are not “reckless” with being publicly nude, and have taken measures to be considerate of others, most state and local law enforcement officers are not going to cite you.
Best Advice for Nude Camping on BLM Land
- Pick a camp site furthest away from other campers. This should be a no-brainer.
- Stay close to your camp, but stay naked. As long as you can demonstrate that you’re nude camping, other campers will know to stay away. On the other hand, if you choose to put your clothes back on, or hide in your camper, then you’re sending the message that its okay for others to camp within sight of you.
- Most states make it illegal to be “recklessly nude”, meaning it’s only illegal to be publicly nude if you are doing it with no regard towards others. Thus, as long as others around you are aware of you being nude, and they don’t mind you being nude, then it’s not illegal. But, it’s up to you to take some proactive measures to either notify existing campers, or demonstrate to newcomers that you are nude, or just staying far enough away.
- No state, however, allows people to engage in lewd or sexually explicit behavior.
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