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How did the Secretary’s Order 3404 Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force reach a final decision on replacement names?

Secretary's Order 3404 outlined a process that concluded in 2022. The Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force reviewed all candidate names, including those generated by the U.S. Geological Survey, received by the Board on Geographic Names (BGN) as part of a formal proposal prior to January 24, 2022, or contributed through a public comment period (February 23 to April 25, 2022) or Tribal consultations. Opportunities to provide input were announced via Federal Register notices.

After the public comment and Tribal Consultation periods closed on April 25, 2022, the Task Force considered all input and developed a list of final recommendations that was submitted to the BGN on July 22, 2022. The BGN voted at its September 8, 2022 meeting to approve changes to 643 of the names.

The Department of the Interior recommended further review by the BGN for five additional names that applied to unincorporated populated places. Noting that there were unique concerns with renaming communities, the BGN sought additional input from the local governments and stakeholders before making the final determination. Changes to the five unincorporated populated place names were approved by the BGN on January 12, 2023.