Ge­og­ra­phy board votes to re­name Utah canyon

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

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