"Utah History" or "Blatant Racism"? Debate Continues Over Name of Canyon Near Moab

Aug 7, 2017

A panel in Utah is recommending no change to the name of Negro Bill Canyon, a popular hiking location near Moab. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the state’s Committee on Geographic Names voted 8 to 2 Thursday to keep the name. The vote came after representatives of the NAACP told the group they don’t find the name offensive because it recognizes the history of a canyon named for a black rancher, William Grandstaff. However, the Tribune reports the Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Commission disagreed, saying the name represents “blatant racism.” The U.S. Board on Geographic Names will make the final decision. But the BLM has already changed signs at the start of the trail to read “Grandstaff Trailhead.”

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