Wisconsin Geospatial News

Public Comments Invited on Proposed Replacements for Derogatory Place Names

As noted in a post from December 2021, the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior has signed orders creating administrative bodies to review and replace derogatory geographic feature names across the country.

Secretarial Order 3404 focuses on one particular derogatory term, a Native American slur, and creates a Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force to find replacement names for geographic features bearing this name. The Task Force, under the auspices of the US Geological Survey (USGS), has developed a list of proposed replacement names. This list was published in the Federal Register on February 23, 2022 and is available for public comment. Comments by the public are invited on or before April 25, 2022. The Federal register notice provides details on how to submit a comment.

The USGS Task Force developed a list of five candidate names for each feature, based on a search of nearby named geographic features. Proposed additional candidate names will also be accepted during the public comment period. The list of names for the entire country is available online here. For convenience, a smaller file with only Wisconsin’s proposed replacement names (28 of them) is available here.

The list of all replacement names recommended by the Task Force will be submitted to the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN) for final adjudication.