Replacing Offensive Names

Our Eastern Region National Forests and Grasslands should be places of refuge, inclusion, and comfort for all Americans. Unfortunately, our Forest Service maps reveal many place names that are hurtful or offensive to the public we serve.

Our public lands belong to all Americans, and we’ve embarked on a multi-year process to remove and replace offensive geographic and administrative site names across the Region. The Eastern Region is not alone in reviewing its lands and administrative sites for offensive names, and we will work in cooperation with our Washington Office, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other government agencies to ensure the named features on our lands reflect and honor the people and communities that depend on them.

This effort will make a difference, ensuring our public lands accurately reflect the rich and diverse cultures and communities of our nation and ensuring those lands are welcoming to all. Meaningful collaboration with all neighbors, partners, and communities is essential.

We invite you to be part of this effort, please look below at how you can provide information on offensive names that you may have observed.

*Note: Changing the names of natural features requires a formal proposal submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) for recommendation and approval. Names of Forest Service administrative sites and constructive features do not require a BGN decision.

Geographic Names (such as streams, hills, or locales)

  1. Search the USGS digital map for Geographic Names
  2. Propose a new name using the Domestic Names Committee Proposal Form

Forest Service Administrative Names (man-made features such as roads, trails, and recreation areas)

  1. Review USFS R9 Admin Feature & GNIS Offensive Names Map
  2. Submit a name of interest or change via the Offensive Names Submission Form



Contact Kirsten Tighe, Eastern Region Geospatial Services Program Manager.