Letter: Comments about changing name of Gore Range show lack of knowledge | SkyHiNews.com

Letter: Comments about changing name of Gore Range show lack of knowledge

Letter to the editor

Jonathan Bower’s recent letter to the Sky-Hi News shows a total lack of understanding or knowledge in the Gore Range renaming debate.

His statement, “There are hundreds of names these tribes historically had for the assorted features — rivers, streams, lakes, peaks, etc. — in this range that were tossed aside and not included in any maps” is totally preposterous.

Native Americans did not have maps, nor did they have the penchant for naming every conceivable geographic feature of the land as Westerners do. Even today there are not anywhere near hundreds of map names in the Gore Range.

Native American names survived through interactions with trappers and traders, pioneers and explorers, surveyors and scientists, settlers, the tribes themselves and are found in historical records and on modern day maps.

But there never has been a Native American name for the Gore Range. Native Americans never had the Western concept of naming individual mountain ranges and surely not exhausting their language in naming hundreds of features in one geographical location such as the Gore Range.

Grand County is well represented in Native American names as Tabernash, Ute Peak, Ute Pass, Ute Park, Ute Creek and those on its eastern boundary of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Locals and the Grand County Historical Society will know more of these names.

The Gore Range name is part of the western heritage of the settlement of western Grand County and that of Summit County. And its name should not be erased and its history altered at the expense of the other with a fabricated name proposal.

I applaud the Grand County commissioner’s decision to oppose the renaming of the Gore Range.

— Joe Kramarsic, Dillon

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