Colorado Naming Advisory Board could take steps toward renaming Mount Evans soon |

Colorado Naming Advisory Board could take steps toward renaming Mount Evans soon

Mount Evans Wilderness is pictured. Over the past several months, groups around Colorado have been working to find a new name for Mount Evans, named after a former governor.
U.S. Forest Service/Courtesy photo

Soon, the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board is poised to potentially discuss a new name for Mount Evans, a nearby 14,000-foot mountain over the Continental Divide from Summit County. 

In recent months, the board has been tasked with addressing proposals dealing with derogatory or offensive types of names.

Tim Mauck, deputy executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said it is not a guarantee, but renaming Mount Evans could end up on the next agenda for September. 

“I want to stick with keeping that pace on what we’ve introduced, but if we haven’t received enough movement between now and next month, then I think we’re going to think about introducing the proposals to rename Mount Evans. That, I think, will take actually a couple of months,” Mauck said. “There’s numerous, at this moment, proposals to deal with that.”

Earlier this year, Clear Creek County commissioners voted to approve a recommendation to change Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky at the request of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. The Arapaho were known as the Blue Sky People, and the Cheyenne hold an annual renewal of life ceremony called Blue Sky.

Northeast of Summit County, the 14er is named after John Evans, Colorado’s second territorial governor. Evans resigned after a U.S. Cavalry massacre of more than 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne people — most of them women, children and the elderly — at Sand Creek in what is now southeastern Colorado in 1864.

“(Clear Creek County) had a very smooth process in terms of hearing from all of the various proponents of the proposals and then public comment — public comment again at the follow up meeting and then some additional deliberation,” Mauck added. “So I think that’s kind of the track that we are on here — that if we think that we’ve got enough time and don’t have enough progress here, I think what we’re learning is that having numerous proposals in process is probably one of the best ways to proceed here.”

The renaming of Mount Evans is only part of a recent push to rename geographical features. In April, the board adopted Nuchu Creek as the preferred candidate to rename Squaw Creek in Summit County. The creek, which is northwest of Silverthorne along the Blue River and Colorado Highway 9, sits in Eagles Nest Wilderness in White National Forest. The area is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Across the state, creeks, mountains and other outdoor features have been the topic of new names, as well, and the state board — composed of 15 people ranging from elected officials, state employees, historians and Native American groups — have been tasked with discussing what new names would be most appropriate.

In August, the board discussed various other geographic features in the state of Colorado, including ones in Jefferson, Park, Garfield, Montezuma and Las Animas counties. 

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