DENVER (KDVR) — Another Colorado 14er could soon see its name changed.
In September, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names officially renamed Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky after a years-long movement pushed to address the history of the name.
Now, the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board is looking into another mountain.
On Nov. 2, the board held a meeting to address Kit Carson Mountain. The peak stands at 14,165 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, just north of the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
During a virtual meeting, the board discussed the name change.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names introduced the case about renaming Kit Carson Mountain to Frustum Peak. Frustum is a geometric term for a flat-top cone or pyramid.
Controversial past of Kit Carson
According to the board, the reason for the name change is because proponents said Kit Carson Mountain glorifies the historic figure’s controversial past. Carson gained recognition as a mountain man and a trapper in the early 1800s.
In 1863, Carson was ordered to relocate Native Americans to New Mexico reservations; however, he refused. According to the National Park Service, Carson’s resignation was not accepted and he forced the surrender of the Navajo.
NPS said 8,000 men, women and children were forced to march or ride 300 miles in what was known as “The Long Walk.” An estimated 300 Navajo died.
Navajo Nation addresses proposal
The United States Forest Service spoke to the Navajo Nation on the possible name change.
“The Navajo Nation fully supports renaming Kit Carson Mountain. Namesakes are powerful, especially when they bestow honor and legitimacy to people like Kit Carson. He led a brutal campaign against the Navajo, resulting in deaths of countless Navajos and later to the removal and incarceration of the Navajos at Fort Sumner. Memorializing his name in history books, statues and prominent places commemorate the forced removal and subjugation of the Navajo and other tribes. We can not rewrite history, but we can strive to correct it by recognizing who and what we consider significant as Indigenous people. Supporting Kit Carson Mountain’s name change compels us to understand our history and use it to inform our present. Changing names at the federal level is the first step toward examining racist legacies, and becoming more inclusive, optimistically enabling meaningful change elsewhere.”Navajo Nation statement given to U.S. Forest Service
While the Navajo Nation is in favor of a name change, they did not say if they approved of the name Frustum Peak.
According to the board members, many locals in the area refer to the mountain as Crestone Peak, due to the numerous crests or outcroppings on the mountain. There have been previous attempts to officially rename it as Crestone Peak. However, the board voted not to approve the change.
The board chose to continue researching the proposal and the name change. The next meeting will be in January.