Geography board votes to rename Utah canyon
SALT LAKE CITY — After years of debate, a U.S. government board has voted to rename Utah’s Negro Bill Canyon, overruling a recommendation by Utah officials to keep the name.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names decided Thursday to rename it Grandstaff Canyon to get rid of an offensive name, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. The vote was 12-0, with one member declining to vote.
The new name honors black rancher and prospector William Grandstaff, whose cattle grazed there in the 1870s.
“His name was Grandstaff; it was not Negro Bill,” said Wendi-Starr Brown, a member of the federal board who is Native American. “I’m pretty sure that’s not how he wanted to be addressed in life.”
The canyon is home to Moab, the gateway to massive red rock formations.