By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix Log 

AHC eyes names for local peaks


The Alaska Historical Commission could be adding a few names to the Kenai Peninsula soon. That is, if the residents give their consent.

The commission, the state’s designated review board for geographic names, has received applications to name three unnamed peaks and a ridge near Moose Pass and Upper Trail Lakes on the Kenai Peninsula.

As part of the Alaska Historical Commission’s process, the nine-member commission members attempt to contact adjacent land owners have been advised of the proposed name and had a chance to comment on it. From there, a Domestic Geographic Name Report (a U.S. Board on Geographic Names form) is prepared and sent with a map and supporting information to relevant Native groups, public land managers, local governments and other interested parties and local media for comment on the proposed name. For proposed Native names, the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is consulted.

According to Antonson, the Alaska Historical Commission members receive the report, map, and all public input before discussing and acting to approve or not approve a proposed name. The commission will then discuss the proposed names at one of its two annual meetings. After being reviewed, the applicant is notified of the meeting at which time the commission will consider their proposed name and provided with copies of comments received from reviewers.

Following the meeting, applicants are notified in writing of the Alaska Historical Commission’s action on their proposal. Unless tabled, the Domestic Geographic Name Report, all comments received, and record of the commission’s action are sent to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which will then review the proposal before voting to accept or deny a proposed name. The USBGN has the final word on choice, spelling and official use of the place names in the U.S. Once approved by the USBGN, a name becomes official nationally and is entered into the Geographic Name Information System (GNIS),

According to an AHC release, residents are invited to review and comment on the proposed names, and are welcome to share the request with others. According to AHC Deputy SHPO Jo Antonson, comments are due by June 30.


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