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U.S. Board on Geographic Names form for name proposal


 

Domestic Names - Propose or Change a Domestic Geographic Name

 
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Proposed Feature Name: Sharsmith Peak 
County where feature is located?: Tuolumne & Mono border 
City, Town, Township where feature is located: NA 
Administrative Area where feature is located: Yosemite National Park/Inyo National Forest 



 
Why does feature need a name?: To provide inspiration to attain education about and appreciation of  the Sierra Nevada by successive generations, through reference to a great naturalist.
Feature type: mountain summit 
 

If yes, explain below:
WRJones or someone to find out what a GNIS feature is.

 

Feature description:
The peak that has come to be informally called Sharsmith Peak has its summit area above the tree-line in the arctic-alpine life-zone of plants. The summit area is primarily loose granitic rock varying in size from irregular angularly shaped blocks to small sand grains of crystals so that boreal plants may obtain footholds, moisture, and protection from wind in sheltered sites. The peak is located at the crest of the Sierra Nevada on the eastern border of Yosemite National Park, which is also the eastern border of the legislated Yosemite National Park wilderness.  The peak is at latitude N37 56.194' and longitude W119 17.615'. This point is labeled 12,002 as shown on the 1956 Tuolumne Meadows, Calif. 15 minute topographic quadrangle map published by the U.S. Geological Survey. This point is located on the Sierra Nevada crest between White Mountain (south of Mount Conness) and Gaylor Peak (north of Tioga Pass). The 1994 Tioga Pass, CA topographic quadrangle map published by the U.S. Geological Survey covers 7.5 minutes of the above area and shows this same summit to be just over 12,000 feet high but does not label it. (Topo USA mapping software, version 6.0 from DeLorme, shows the peak at 11,939 feet altitude.) The Yosemite area west of informally-named Sharsmith Peak is managed by the National Park Service of the Department of Interior; this region is to be maintained in its present wilderness condition. East of informally-named Sharsmith Peak is Inyo National Forest,  managed by the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. Lands in the forest are here designated the Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area. Purpose of the Hall area is to preserve ecological integrity, genetic diversity, a baseline for measuring ecological change, and to educate; these purposes relate directly to Carl's focus in alpine botany and his wish to maintain natural areas for plants. In order to avoid human impacts, the Research Area does not encourage public use; it is envisioned that formally naming Sharsmith Peak would add little or no public use to the Research Area because the informal name Sharsmith Peak is already in use for the feature. The point is also on the border of Tuolumne County (to the west) and Mono County (to the east). 

 

Name Information:
The name Sharsmith Peak is from Dr. Carl W. Sharsmith (1903-1994), Yosemite National Park ranger-naturalist who served mainly in the Tuolumne Meadows area of the High Sierra for over 60 summers and is deeply associated with that region. He deeply touched the lives of thousands of persons through his educational and motivational talents, and many of these persons as a result launched careers or developed amateur interests in ecology and conservation that continues to further the purposes for which the U.S. Congress established and maintains both Yosemite National Park and Inyo National Forest and indeed the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service which manage these and other areas. Dr. Sharsmith's science was botany, and he did meadow ecology study for use in their management. Dr. Sharsmith established the Carl W. Sharsmith Herbarium at San Jose State University, San Jose, California, where he was Professor of Botany, a renowned expert in grasses. While living, Dr. Sharsmith received the Meritorious Service Award from the Department of the Interior and the first Yosemite Award from that park. His name established on a mountain peak will serve to perpetuate awareness of his lifework so that continued benefit may result from enhanced awareness of the dedication of this man to his ideals of the use of education as a means to understanding and effective correct action.

 
Feature elevation: 12,002 nominally as shown on 1956 Tuolumne Meadows, Calif. 15-minute topographic quadrangle map
 
Mouth or center of feature:
Latitude: N37 56.194
Longitude: W119 17.615'.
 
Source of feature:
Latitude: Not applicable
Longitude: Not applicable

 
Section(s): 23
Township(s): T1N
Ranges(s): R24E
Meridian: To be determined 

 

Maps and other published sources using name:
Julie Miller has used the name Sharsmith Peak for otherwise unnamed peak 12,002 for a guided hike she led for the Yosemite Association to its summit, and this informal Sharsmith Peak name has been published in a walk guide by the Yosemite Association noted as follows: "Three Great Peaks--Reach the top of three outstanding peaks in three strenuous days of hiking. Julie Miller will guide her group to the summits of Tuolumne Peak, Tenaya Peak, and Sharsmith Peak" [from e-mail dated 11/5/03 from Yosemite Association's Vice President Beth. Pratt to Bill Jones]. Miller also gives talks relating experiences with Carl. Margaret Eissler and Dick Ewart accompanied Carl in 1989 on a multi-day trip to the foot of informally-named Sharsmith Peak for him to observe alpine plants there [e-mail dated 4/15/2006 from Len McKenzie to Bill Jones.] Beth Pratt, Vice President of Yosemite Association, notes, "Although Sharsmith isn't the official name for the peak, apparently it is the familiar name used by park insiders." [from e-mail dated 11/5/2003 to Bill Jones]. Regarding informally-named  Sharsmith Peak, John Carroll O'Neill and Elizabeth Stone O'Neill write in Tioga Tramps, page 26 (published 2002 by Albicaulis Press of Groveland, California), "There is an interest in naming this mountain as a memorial to Yosemite's famous ranger-naturalist, Carl Sharsmith."

Other names used for feature:
None

 
Is the proposed name in local usage?: Yes 
If yes, for approximately how many years?: at least 3 years 

If yes, explain below:
Although nothing that could be called opposition has been expressed regarding this naming proposal, a few persons who have expressed their preference to not have new names on maps have also said that in the case of Carl Sharsmith they believe an exception to their normal preference is warranted and that the name Sharsmith Peak should be bestowed. Some have been concerned about naming a peak that may be within wilderness, but the peak proposed to be named Sharsmith Peak is at the eastern border of the Yosemite wilderness and there is no wilderness to its east and none proposed.

 

Additional Information:
Background information on the naming proposal and on Dr. Sharsmith are given in attached papers, which may also be viewed on the website www.name4carl.org. This website was developed in response to interest from many individuals and several organizations in the naming so that a single proposal could be presented to the Board on Geographic Names, the proposal now submitted on this form.
 

Organizations or individuals which support proposed name: 
The papers and website identified above show organizations and individuals that support the proposed Sharsmith Peak. Additionally, individual supporting statements addressed to the Board are attached. Selected proponents of special interest include these:...

 

 
Proposed By:
Name: Name4Carl Committee/William R. Jones
Street: 0637 Blue Ridge Road 
City, State
and Zip:
Silverthorne, CO 80498 
Email: email
Telephone: 970/468-7673 
Fax Number: 970/468-7673
Title: Lead Member
Company or
Agency:
Name4Carl Committee
www.name4carl.org

 
Submitted By:
Name: Name4Carl Committee/William R Jones
Street: 0637 Blue Ridge Road
City, State
and Zip:
Silverthorne, CO 80498
Email: email
Telephone: 970/468-7673
Fax Number: 970/468-7673 
Title: Lead Member
Company or
Agency:
Name4Carl Committee
www.name4carl.org

 
Do you have additional materials to submit?: Yes: attached background information on the naming proposal and Dr. Sharsmith are appended as are supporting statements from individuals and petitions from organizations.

 


URL: http://geonames.usgs.gov/domestic/name_form.htm
Page Contact Information: GNIS Manager
Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 14-Mar-2006 07:19:56 EST


This "Draft of Proposal" page last modified 11/24/2006: name4carl\n4cdraf3.htm.

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