New Names Approved for Hiking Destination, Historical Inaccuracy, Unnamed Creek
October 1, 2019
Board of Natural Resources passes proposals for geographic features in Chelan, Grays Harbor, Kitsap counties
The Washington State Board of Natural Resources, acting as the state Board on Geographic Names, approved new names for two places along a well-known hiking destination in Chelan County, a misidentified land mass in Grays Harbor County, and a creek to honor an instrumental public employee in Kitsap County during its meeting Tuesday morning.
Saddle Gap has been approved to replace “Squaw Saddle.” The gap in conjunction with the nearby summit resembles a saddle on horseback as the name describes.
Saddle Rock will be recognized as the official name of the feature, which looms above the city of Wenatchee. The name has been already been in use by City of Wenatchee locals and others familiar with the area because of the popular hiking trail it offers.
Grays Harbor County
Traitors Islet, originally named in 1841 by the Wilkes expedition, will be amended from Traitors Inlet. In 1993, the land mass on the southern side of Grays Harbor was inaccurately recorded in the Geographic Names Information Systems Database by the U.S. Department of the Interior. They cited Robert Hitchman’s book “Place Names of Washington” as the source of their information. Hitchman records the land mark as “Islet.” The name was previously thought to have referred to Native Americans hired to help survey parties during the Wilkes Expedition but refused to work.
LeCuyer Creek, near Poulsbo, will be named to commemorate Jim LeCuyer, the Kitsap Public Utility District hydrologist who oversaw one of the most comprehensive and longest-running data collection projects in the state. Kitsap’s Hydrologic Monitoring System measures rainfall, streamflow, and ground water levels in Kitsap County. LeCuyer was a 28-year employee of the PUD.
All proposed name changes were passed through the seven-member state Committee on Geographic Names, which advises the board, in September. Names approved by the Board are published in the Washington Administrative Code and forwarded to the United States Board on Geographic Names for federal consideration along with the state’s recommendations.
Summaries of the four applications, including maps and comments submitted to the committee, are on the DNR website at dnr.wa.gov/about/boards-and-councils/board-natural-resources.
Washington State Department of Natural Resources