Federal Government Intends to Change Names of Magic Valley Geographic Areas
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Nearly 70 canyons, creeks, springs and other Idaho geographic features could see new names as the federal government plans to remove a word that has been deemed derogatory. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced plans this week to remove the term "squaw" from more than 660 geographic features across the United States on federal lands, “Words matter, particularly in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds. Consideration of these replacements is a big step forward in our efforts to remove derogatory terms whose expiration dates are long overdue,” said Secretary Deb Haaland in a prepared statement. “Throughout this process, broad engagement with Tribes, stakeholders and the general public will help us advance our goals of equity and inclusion.” The list was presented this week with several suggested names for the various features. Two Twin Falls locations are on the list: Squaw Joe Canyon and Squaw Joe Spring in the South Hills. Suggested replacement names include Nat-Soo-Pah Warms Springs, Upper Burnt Creek Reservoir, Hoops Spring along with several others. Four locations are listed in Cassia County. The Interior Department created a 13 member Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force to take on the task of changing the names. The Task Force will take public comment on the proposed name changes for several weeks. You can go to the Federal Register for more information.