Bureau Withdraws Plans to Rename Montana Campgrounds

Federal Bureau of Reclamation says Chinamen’s campground and Confederate campground will retain their names

By Associated Press

HELENA — The federal Bureau of Reclamation plans to retain the names of two Montana campgrounds that were going to be changed over concerns they could be offensive.

The bureau reversed itself with an announcement Wednesday that there will be no name change to Chinamen’s campground and Confederate campground in the Canyon Ferry Recreation Area, The Independent Record reports.

Regional Director Brent Esplin said the decision was based on local feedback.

“We are conscious of the recent national dialogue on inclusion and consider diverse perspectives to ensure our facilities are welcoming for all visitors,” Esplin said in a statement.

The agency used duct tape to cover the names of Chinamen’s and Confederate campgrounds on roadside signs leading to the two areas last week.

The bureau said on its website that the names would temporarily change to Campground 1 and Campground 2 until new names were chosen.

Chinese people made up one of the largest groups of immigrants in Montana after gold was discovered in the 1860s. Other place names near Canyon Ferry include Chinaman Gulch and Chinaman Cove.

The announcement came as protesters nationwide have called for the removal of statues and other monuments some consider offensive or racist.

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