Is the Past here, with us in the room?

The creation of National Forests and Parks are bastions of American efforts to protect our beautiful natural resources. First beginning in 1872, with the designation of Yellowstone as a National Park, and continuing well into the present. These designations, however, are also signs of our nation’s efforts to remove and erase the people indigenous to the land. The separation of natural spaces as distinctly untouched and preserved natural areas effectively ignored a history of indigenous use and occupation. Among this, also rests the issues of problematic place names that commemorate extermination or racist outlooks.

All of this is still with us today. Efforts to correct these issues are being made, as we saw most recently through secretarial order 3405, which intends to recognize and replace derogatory place names across the country. Although, it is not a large part of my RA-ship, dealing with old data like reports is a part of my weekly tasks. As of present, I have not encountered any derogatory names used to refer to places or used just for project names but others within my unit have. 

There’s still a lot for me to update, but hopefully, there won’t be a lot for me to correct.

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