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Board to eliminate offensive geographic names


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO-AM) – The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names (SDBGN) seeks public input on new names for Negro Wool Ridge and Negro Canyon near Wind Cave in Custer County; Negrh near Tinton in Lawrence County; and Negro Creek near Medicine Mountain in Pennington County.

The names are considered offensive and require that new names be solicited under guidelines by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

The guidelines state that preferred names be descriptive of topographic forms suggested by local history, folklore, or incident, or by associated natural life or other phenomena, including American Indian or other ethnic names appropriate to the area. A proposed name should not duplicate another name in the state or nearby in an adjoining state. If a personal name is proposed, it must be determined in the public interest to honor the person or family for historical or commemorative reasons, and that person must have been deceased at least five years.

The process is intended to eliminate offensive names. No name should imply discrimination or be derogatory to gender or a particular racial, ethnic or religious group, and proposed names should not be considered obscene in a present-day cultural context.

Comments should be submitted no later than June 1, 2013. A comment form is available upon request or available on the SDBGN website: http://www.sdbgn.sd.gov/