Letter to the editor: I urge Gore Range author to reconsider the renaming issue | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: I urge Gore Range author to reconsider the renaming issue

Bob Berwyn
Vienna, Austria


A pity that Joe Kramarsic wasn’t identified as the author of a Gore Range book, so he obviously has a personal interest in the issue. I respect his knowledge of modern human mountaineering activities and his own fabulous explorations in the range, but I have to disagree with his general conclusion and several of the lines of reasoning he uses to support his argument. In the interest of brevity, I just want to point out a couple of those:

First, it’s not clear at all, and very hard to believe, that “there has never been a Native American name for the mountains known as the Gore Range.” It may be true in a very narrow, technical sense of there not being a specific name for the section of mountains that settlers delineated as the Gore Range. But the greater truth is that European settlers so thoroughly erased Indigenous people, knowledge and language that we may never know for sure.

Second, the “principles, policies and procedures” of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names is exactly what’s at issue. Those rules are part of the structure of extractive colonialism that we need to break down, so we can build something better. That should, in my opinion, be the guide for this discussion.

I would urge Kramarsic, as an avid chronicler of mountains, to reconsider the issue in the larger context of history and justice.



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