Reader Participation Day: What National Park Place Names Should Be Changed?
Among the many thousands of named places in America's National Park System are quite a few that could reasonably be given more appropriate names. Indeed, there are even some zingers among the unit designations of the 397 national parks.
Two examples of inappropriate place names in our National Park System leap to my mind almost unbidden. If the Ohio Congressional delegation can be made to sit still for it, Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve should be officially renamed Denali, which is what everybody in Alaska calls it. New Mexico's Aztec Ruins National Monument, a place in which no Aztec ever set foot, should be renamed to honor the Ancestral Puebloans.
OK, it's your turn. What renamings would you like to see?
By the way, this is not necessarily idle thinking. Place names in long-standing public use are seldom changed, but it does happen from time to time. The federal arbiter for such decisions, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, approves about 85% of the 250 naming proposals it receives in a typical year. Congress has renamed national parks from time to time too, as when Custer Battlefield National Monument was redesignated Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument back in 1991.