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Utah to keep canyon’s controversial name despite new push to reconsider

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Southern Utah officials have decided to keep a canyon’s controversial name, rebuffing a new push to change the title that’s offensive to some but a point of historical pride for the state’s largest NAACP chapter.

negrobillGrand County Councilwoman Mary McGann said Wednesday that the council voted 4-3 to keep the name of Negro Bill Canyon after a black cowboy whose cattle grazed there in the 1870s.

While McGann and others say the name is outdated and offensive, Salt Lake City NAACP president Jeanetta Williams drummed up support to keep it because it because it makes it clear that the canyon is named for a black historical figure.

McGann says she’ll try again to re-name the picturesque hiking spot in Moab, about 230 miles south of Salt Lake City.