John Denver peak-naming petition may violate Wilderness Act rules

Last week, Kyle Garratt reported that a petition to name a Mount Sopris peak after John Denver was ready to mail, and bore over 2,800 signatures. But the odds of such a christening being approved by authorities appears to be slim -- unless Littleton-based backer J.P. McDaniel can convince them that doing so would be educational.

That's the skinny from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The paper quotes Lou Yost, executive secretary for the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which would have to bless McDaniel's petition. According to him, the board believes naming peaks located in a wilderness areas, like Mount Sopris, isn't supported by the Wilderness Act of 1964, which sees such actions as detracting from the integrity of designated sites. Exceptions are typically made only if there are safety concerns -- or if doing so would promote education.

This last argument seems like the only one McDaniel can credibly make. But would the feds see cluing in a new generation about the man behind "Sunshine on My Shoulder" as an informational plus?

That's a big hill to climb...

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