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Grandstaff Canyon Moniker Ends Decades Of Debate

The United States Board on Geographic Names has voted overwhelmingly to rename Negro Bill Canyon near Moab.It's now Grandstaff Canyon. The board overruled a recommendation by a state committee and the regional office of the NAACP to keep the name. A proposal to change the name was originally submitted in 1999 and rejected in a 2001 decision due to what the board said was a lack of state and local support.

The new moniker honors black rancher and prospector William Grandstaff, whose cattle grazed there in the 1870s.

As of Thursday afternoon, the name change had yet to occur on the U.S. Board on Geographic Names website.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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