Obama revamps park names, some of them controversial

By Doug Mills, CNN • Updated 3rd October 2016

The Obama administration is taking another step toward erasing the legacy of some of its most infamous past occupants by kicking out their controversial names from federal parks, forests and other public areas.

From national monument sites in Arizona to streams and tribal sites in Maine, monuments, groves and swamps deemed illegitimate by current administration officials and renamed are getting fresh starts. The spate of revocations follows similar removals by the Clinton and Bush administrations, which began a decades-long process to assign new names to sites associated with former presidents.

Here’s the latest list of names altered by the Interior Department:

– The Zuni Trail in the Southern Rocky Mountains was given the new name Hillside Trail

– The Painted Hills National Monument in Arizona was rebranded the Dakota Salish Wilderness

– The Maine Three Fires Wilderness was renamed the Mount Desert Island Wilderness

– The Cottonwood Wilderness in the West Virginia Pine Knob State Forest was renamed the Clairy Norton Homestead Wilderness

– The Navajo Lakes National River Park in Arizona was renamed Park Lake

– The Bear Garden Wilderness Area in Maine was renamed the Lake Biddle Wilderness Area

– The Wilderness Service Office Office in the William T. Reid Civil War Memorial in D.C. was renamed the James G. Costello Civil War Memorial

But the effort may run into challenges from a variety of branches of government, as a number of programs managed by federal agencies — including housing subsidies for the poor — are based on what were once named landmarks of former Presidents.

Also, other programs were called “blacksubs” until the names were deemed racially insensitive.

The Obama administration still has much to do on the rest of its land management plan, particularly as old names fall out of favor as well.

The Interior Department’s website tracks some of the names that have been stripped by this point, and says more names will be reset before the end of this president’s term.

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