Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Squaw Creek Spring to Moltich Spring
Madison County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description spring, point, Beaverhead National Forest; located along Squaw Creek, 3 km (1.9 mi) SW of Moose Lake; named for Matt and Veronica Moltich, early pioneers who ranched in the area
Location 45°00’30”N, 113°56’13”W
PLSS Location Sec 35,T9S,R3W
Proposal to change a name considered by some to be derogatory
Proponent Mark Petroni; Ennis, MT
Not Squaw Creek Spring
Administrative area Beaverhead National Forest
Previous BGN Action None
See also 38307
GNIS ID 793728
Local Usage None found
Published Squaw Creek Spring (USGS 1988; USFS 1996)
This is the second proposal submitted by the Montana HB 412 Advisory Committee, and a counter-proposal by an employee of the U.S. Forest Service, to change the name of Squaw Creek Spring in Madison County.
When asked to comment on the proposal for Indian Woman Spring, the National Forest Supervisor determined that local residents preferred to honor an early pioneer family instead. The name Moltich Spring would honor Matt Moltich (1878-1944) and his wife Veronica (1888-1963), who settled in Madison County in 1913, farming and raising livestock there for the rest of their lives. There are no other geographic features in Montana known to be named “Moltich”. The HB 412 Committee reviewed the counter-proposal for Moltich Spring, but declined to reverse its decision to support Indian Woman Spring.

A copy of the proposals was forwarded to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho, a Federally-recognized Tribe, but no response was received, which is presumed to indicate a lack of an opinion on the issue. The Commissioners of Madison County initially rejected the proposal for Indian Woman Spring, but asked to comment on the subsequent proposal for Moltich Creek, the County stated, “if the majority of input of views prefers Lott Creek and Moltich Spring as replacement names, I will not argue or deny that.” The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, which serves as the State Names Authority, determined that its Water Resources and Trust Land Management divisions either support or have no objection to the name Moltich Spring, and so recommends approval of that name. The U.S. Forest Service also endorses the name Moltich Spring.

Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Thursday, February 10, 2005)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, March 10, 2005
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded not to approve the change to Indian Woman Creek.

Vote: 6 in favor
2 against
0 abstentions

The negative votes were cast in support of the Montana House Bill 412 Advisory Committee. A motion was then made and seconded to approve the name Moltich Spring.

Vote: 6 in favor
2 against
0 abstentions

The negative votes were cast in support of the Montana House Bill 412 Advisory Committee.

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