George Gore’s bloody legacy could soon be erased from Colorado’s mountains, replaced with a nod to the Utes |

George Gore’s bloody legacy could soon be erased from Colorado’s mountains, replaced with a nod to the Utes

A Summit County resolution would rename the Gore Range, which spans four Colorado counties, the Nuchu Range, the pick of Ute tribal leaders

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun
Leon Littlebird, third generation Coloradan, with the Gore Range reflected on his windows Friday, July 10, 2020, at his home in Silverthorne.
Photo by Hugh Carey / From The Colorado Sun

Few people have good things to say about George Gore. 

But the Irish aristocrat who left a bloody trail of thousands of animals shot for sport and left to rot across the West during a three-year campaign left his mark in Colorado, with his name adorning one of Colorado’s most pristine mountain ranges as well as a creek, lake, pass, canyon and trail. 

And Gore’s legacy could soon be returned to its bloody roots as a growing chorus in Eagle, Grand, Routt and Summit counties clamor to purge the baronet’s name from the state, starting with the Gore Range. Summit County’s commissioners last week passed their second resolution to change the name of the Gore Range, but this time they offered a replacement: Nuchu Range. 

Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier, who first wrote a resolution to erase the bloodthirsty Gore name in 2017, said it took long discussions with leaders from the Northern Ute, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes to come up with the name Nuchu Range, which means “Ute’s Range.”

“I think this is a perfect name since tribal leaders picked it and because it claims the range for the Ute people,” said Leon Littlebird, a Summit County musician of Navajo descent who has spent three years campaigning to jettison the Gore name from central Colorado’s toothy range. “The Utes called them the Shining Mountains. This name (Nuchu), seems it is a possessive form of that. I like it a lot. Been a long time coming.”

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