Daily Archives: 31 August 2015

Officially Denali

Mount-Mckinley-Fall-Colors

We can file this one under the heading: I didn’t see this coming.

On the eve of the President’s visit to Alaska, the White House announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley would officially be changed back to its Athabascan name Denali.  Alaska has had a standing request to change the name since 1975 when the state legislature passed a resolution, and then-Governor Jay Hammond officially appealed to the federal government.

Alaskans have long referred to The Mountain as Denali, but Ohio politicians have blocked the official change for decades.  The Interior Department cites a 1947 law that allows it to change names when the U.S. Board on Geographic Names refuses to act in “a timely manner”.  The Board has been deferring to Congress since 1977 on the issue, which seems to qualify.