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Is Secretary’s Order 3404 and the DOI Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force limited to only those features and geographic names that are on federal lands?


Secretary's Order 3404 and the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force have purview over names of approximately 650 geographic features with the term sq___ located on federal, state, Tribal, county, local or private land. These are primarily natural features (i.e., lakes, mountains, etc.), as well as canals, channels, and reservoirs in the United States and its territories and outlying areas. While these geographic features occur over many jurisdictions, the decisions of the Task Force and BGN are only binding to federal departments and agencies. Civil feature names (i.e., counties, minor civil divisions, incorporated places) are not within the jurisdiction of the BGN.

The Interior Department has also recommended an additional review by the BGN for seven of the 650 features. Those seven locations are considered unincorporated populated places. Noting that there are unique concerns with renaming these sites, the BGN will seek out additional review from the local communities and stakeholders before making a final determination.

The Task Force is currently considering the following seven places for additional review:  

  • Sq___ Harbor, Alaska
  • Sq___ Hill, Calif.
  • Sq___ Valley, Calif.
  • Sq___ Gap, N.D.
  • Sq___berry, Tenn.
  • Sq___ Mountain, Texas
  • Sq___ Place, Wyo.


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