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Vote to rename iconic Colorado 14er deferred by USGS board

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names got a request from a tribal government related to the renaming of Mount Evans and delayed the vote.

DENVER — One of Colorado's most popular 14ers will keep its current name, at least for now.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names' Domestic Names Committee was set to vote Thursday to change the name of Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky. Just before the meeting, the board received a request from a tribal government related to the issue.

According to the board, a tribe can make a request to the Department of Interior to initiate a consultation about an issue they believe will have tribal implications.

As a result, a vote and discussion about a new name did not happen during Thursday's meeting.

Gov. Jared Polis (D), endorsed the name Mount Blue Sky following the recommendation of Colorado's Geographic Naming Advisory Board.

The 14,265-foot mountain in Clear Creek County is named after John Evans, who was Colorado's territorial governor at the time of the Sand Creek Massacre, a surprise attack where U.S. Army troops killed Native women and children. Native people called for Evans' name to be removed from the mountain. 

The following six proposals were submitted to both the state and federal boards for renaming the mountain:

  • Mount Blue Sky (submitted by the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes)
  • Mount Cheyenne-Arapaho (submitted by the Northern Cheyenne tribe)
  • Mount Soule (submitted by a private party)
  • Mount Rosalie (submitted by a private party)
  • Mount Evans (re-designating the mountain for Anne Evans, the governor's daughter, submitted by a private party)
  • Mount Sisty (submitted by a private party)

The name Mount Blue Sky pays tribute to the Arapaho tribe, also known as the Blue Sky tribe.

The 13-member Colorado Geographic Naming Board was created by an executive order from Polis in July 2020. The state board has submitted requests to the U.S. board for several name changes in Colorado.




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