Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Pillick Ridge to Pilik Ridge
Sanders County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description ridge, elevation 1,783 m (5,850 ft), 5.6 km (3.5 mi) long; located in Kaniksu National Forest, in the Cabinet Mountains, to the S, W, and NW of Bull River; named for John Pilik (b. 1883), who homesteaded on property at the E end of the ridge in 1921
Location 48°05’07”N, 115°50’33”W
PLSS Location T27N, R33W
Proposal to change a name to recognize the correct spelling
Proponent Ella D. Ewing; Spokane, WA
Not Pellick Ridge, Pillick Ridge
Administrative area Kaniksu National Forest
Previous BGN Action Pillick Ridge (BGN 1969)
See also
GNIS ID 788864
Local Usage Pillick Ridge (local hikers)
Published Pellick Ridge (USFS 1936, 1958, 1964; AMS 1966), Pillick Ridge (travel, hiking, and trail guides), Pillick Ridge (USGS 1966, 1978, 1982)
This proposal, to change officially the name of Pillick Ridge (BGN 1969) to Pilik Ridge, was submitted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) on behalf of a resident of Spokane, Washington. The feature in question is a 5.6 km (3.5 mi) long ridge located in the northwestern corner of Sanders County and within Kaniksu National Forest. The proponent states that she is the daughter of John Pilik (b. 1883), who acquired property at the eastern end of the ridge in 1919, obtaining a homestead there two years later. She included with her application excerpts from the 1920 and 1930 Federal Censuses that listed the Pilik family as residents of Sanders County, along with a copy of John Pilik’s homestead application. The 1919 patent application had recorded the family’s name as Pelik, while a 1936 USFS map labeled a lookout station on the feature with the name Pellick Ridge Lookout (the station was constructed in 1935 and abandoned around 1941). The latter name was also applied to the ridge on USFS maps published in 1958 and 1964 and on an Army Map Service map of 1967, but in 1969, the BGN was asked to consider a request to change the spelling to “Pillick.” According to two local ranchers and a USFS employee, the family spelled its name Pillick, and so the BGN approved the request accordingly.

The name Pillick Ridge appeared on USGS maps published in 1978 and 1982 and on more recent USFS maps. Citing the historical documentation supporting the spelling “Pilik” and a lack of evidence that there has ever been a family in the area named Pellick or Pillick, the Forest Service recommends approval of the change to Pilik Ridge. The Sanders County Commissioners and the Montana Board on Geographic Names also support the change. A copy of the proposal was sent to the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council, the Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, all of which are Federally-recognized, but no response was received, which is presumed to indicate a lack of an opinion on the issue.

Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Wednesday, March 1, 2006)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve this name change.

Vote: 10 in favor
1 against
0 abstentions

The negative vote was cast in the belief that there was insufficient evidence that the proposed name is any more accurate historically than the existing name, and as such, the feature should not be renamed.

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