Thune Statement on Federal Board’s Unilateral Decision to Rename Harney Peak 

Thune Statement on Federal Board’s Unilateral Decision to Rename Harney Peak 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after the U.S. Board on Geographic Names announced it had renamed South Dakota’s Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak. The South Dakota Department of Tourism, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, and the State Board on Geographic Names all recommended the name not be changed.

“I’m surprised and upset by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names’ unilateral decision to rename Harney Peak, one of South Dakota’s most well-known landmarks,” said Thune. “The national board’s choice to reject the state’s recommendation to leave the name as-is defies logic, since it was state officials who so carefully solicited public feedback and ultimately came to their decision. I’m also disappointed the board grossly misled my office with respect to the timeline of its decision, which wasn’t expected until next year.”  

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12 thoughts on “Thune Statement on Federal Board’s Unilateral Decision to Rename Harney Peak 

  1. Springer

    Did we ever expect a different outcome from this administration anyway? It is and will always be Harney Peak for the majority of South Dakotans. Most don’t know who Harney or Black Elk were and don’t care; they just know and love the highest peak in the Black Hills, and will continue to call it Harney Peak. The feds can mandate all they want, but they can’t force the way people think or speak (at least not yet).

  2. Lee Schoenbeck

    This is strange on many levels.
    First, as Springer notes, most people don’t know who either of them are. I read a lot of South Dakota history, and until we discussed it in Pierre this session, I couldn’t have told you if Harney was a general, or the name of Custer’s mule.

    Second, there’s no question by are standards, Harney was, as a friend told me ” a bad dude”. But, assuming that is because most of us think the wanton murder of Native Americans is outrageous, then the standard gets a little challenging for the anti-Harney crowd. The worst murders of Native Americans in the Great Plains were….the Sioux. I finished five history books on the subject this year. It was so bad that the Laramie Treaty had to address it (the Sioux violated it and kept killing other Native Americans anyway). The books describe this carnage as the cultural path to being a great warrior.
    So, if the Feds keep this standard – and mean it – and aren’t just hypocrites or political panderers, then they need to remove every reference to the really bad killers of Native Americans… Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Spotted Tail…. The list goes on.

    Or, they could instead let people learn from history, understanding people and events in the context of their times.

  3. Charlie Hoffman

    Not much surprises me anymore from this administration.
    From keeping your doctor and lower premiums to red lines to coal kills to Benghazi hype to worst recession ever fixed to Feds own all water to all thugs lives matter/bad cops to naked boys in girls bathrooms cool to fill all cities with terrorist refugees to this. What next?

  4. Annebelle

    Our delegation had better get this dumb decision reversed in Washington and fire all those Obama hacks who did this.

  5. Troy Jones

    I have so many comments it will be hard to limit. For the record, I think naming this peak for Black Elk is better than Harney. But, the process said otherwise and I accept those results.

    1). Annabelle, There is nothing our delegation can do. This agency is part of the Executive Branch and by law empowered to do what it did.

    2). This is an act which belies a dictatorial attitude.

    3). And most importantly, doing this in this manner makes Black Elk a divisive subject, which is exactly the opposite of why I think so highly of Black Elk. His memory and the opportunity for his to be a positive influence has taken a step backwards.

    1. Anonymous

      nothing that can be done…we have an agency to name stuff, DEFUND

      That sounds like a simple job that could be an additional duty for an already existing agency….