Proposals to name an unnamed natural feature may be
submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as described
below. The Board is responsible by law for standardizing
geographic names throughout the Federal Government, and
promulgates policies governing issues such as commemorative
naming, derogatory names, and names in wilderness areas.
Generally the most important policy is local use and
Please note that no natural feature (and
certain manmade features) may be named for a living person.
A potential honoree must have been deceased for at least
five years, and must have had either a direct and long-term
association with the feature, or must have made notable
Upon receipt of a proposal, all interested parties will
be asked to comment. The Board makes decisions only after
receiving recommendations from the local government, county
government, the State Names Authority (in 50 States, the
District of Columbia, and 2 Territories), and appropriate
land management agencies. Only name proposals for natural
features will be accepted.
A new name proposal may be submitted using the Domestic
Geographic Names form mailed to U.S. Board on Geographic Names, U.S.
Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 523,
Reston, VA 20192-0523. Alternatively, the
online version of the form may be used. Please read the
Principles, Policies, and Procedures in the Main Menu to the
left before submitting a proposal. An information packet and
forms can be mailed upon request. The entire process is free
of charge, but will take approximately six months.