Devils Tower Name Change Proposed
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Public comment is being gathered on whether to change the name of the Devils Tower geographic landmark in northeast Wyoming to Bear Lodge.
The request for the name change was made last November by Arvol Looking Horse, who describes himself as an American Indian spiritual leader.
Devils Tower became the country's first national monument when it was created in 1906.
In his request to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, Looking Horse said the name "Devils Tower" is a white man's mistranslation of the words "Bad God's Tower."
It is offensive "because it equates cultural and faith traditions practiced at this site to 'devil worship,' in essence equating indigenous people to 'devils,'" the name change proposal states.
The proposal has drawn opposition.
If the name were to change, it would only apply to the geographic rock and the nearby hamlet, both called Devils Tower.
The name of the Devils Tower National Monument could only be changed by Congress or a presidential executive order.
Monument Superintendent Tim Reid says the National Park Service doesn't have a position on the name.