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Bureau of Land Management Renames Racially-Charged Trailhead Along Colorado River

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This 2008 photo shows a sign with the former name of the trailhead. The Bureau of Land Management changed the name of the trail to "Grandstaff" to reflect the last name of the man for whom it was named. However, the name of the canyon remains the same.

The Bureau of Land Management has renamed a trailhead northeast of Moab, Utah, with a more culturally sensitive moniker.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the agency replaced signs along the Colorado River corridor northeast of Moab that referred to “Negro Bill” Trailhead with “Grandstaff.” That is the actual last name of a half-black, half-American Indian settler who herded cattle in a side canyon of the river there in the 1870s. The Tribune reports William Grandstaff  was likely a former slave who came West after the Civil War. The trail in question leads 2 miles along what is still called “Negro Bill Canyon.” An effort is under way with the Utah chapter of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to rename that as well.

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