A Federal bureau has just announced that South Dakota’s highest point has been renamed. The move has been met with resistance close to home.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names announced Thursday that it had renamed South Dakota’s Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak. U.S. Senator John Thune feels that the State was shut out of the decision.

“There was no transparency and no input from us. It’s our state and I know it’s federal land, but still there was no input or consultation from South Dakota.

Moreover, Thune says the U.S. Board on Geographic Names jumped the gun on the new moniker.

“It’s outrageous to me because I think we were totally misled. We were told this wasn’t going to happen. They weren’t going to make a decision on this until next year. We’re going to be looking at what we can do to make sure that people in South Dakota get heard from on this before they move forward.”

Harney Peak
South Dakota Tourism

Thune listed groups such as the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, and the State Board on Geographic Names all advised against changing the name of Harney Peak.

The landmark was originally named for Army General William Harney who led soldiers in battle against Sioux Indians in 1855.

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