Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Ivys Island
Roosevelt County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description island, Approximately 129 acres, Located in the Missouri River on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, 2.8 mi. SE of Sprole, 1.6 mi. downstream from the mouth of Deep Creek
Location 48°04’14”N, 105°01’04”W;
PLSS Location Sections 20, 21, 28, and 29, Township 27N, Range 52 E
Proposal new commemorative name for an unnamed feature
Proponent Rhonda Leinen; Poplar, MT
Administrative area Fort Peck Indian Reservation
Previous BGN Action None
See also
GNIS ID 2784949
Local Usage None Found
Published None Found
This approximately 129-acre island, proposed to be named Ivys Island, is located along the Missouri River and within the boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

The name is intended to honor Ivy Marie Leinen (2000-2010), who lived most of her life on the bank of the river and was fascinated with the island and its inhabitants of deer, muskrat, geese, ducks, and wild turkeys. After wandering toward the island with her family’s four dogs in March 2010, she fell through the ice and is believed to have drowned in the river just north of the island. Her body has never been found.

The proponent, the mother of Ivy, states that although her daughter was autistic, she inspired others with her kindnesses and her desire to overcome her challenges. She loved art, music, and the outdoors. She left a powerful impression on her teachers and administrators, and her classmates. Ivy’s mother reports that between 2010 and 2011, "There were signs placed on the island in Ivy’s name and a small memorial is situated there for her."

The Montana Geographic Names Advisor distributed a press release seeking public comment on the proposal. No responses were received. However, emails of support were received from a representative of the City of Miles City Community Services and Planning; a senior ecologist with the Montana Natural Heritage Program; a hydrologist with the Montana Department of Natural Resources Conservation; and a local GIS specialist. The ecologist stated "this would be an appropriate way to capture a small bit of Montana history." The governments of Richland County and Roosevelt County also submitted emails in favor of the name. The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation recommend approval of the name, noting "[We] feel it’s appropriate to name it after little Ivy Marie Leinen."

The Montana Geographic Names Advisor recommends approval of the proposal, noting that although "it may appear that this proposal goes against the Board’s policy discouraging commemorative names of places for individuals who died there, I believe the policy targets cases where an individual perished at a place they were visiting rather than at a place where they lived. Ivy’s association with this place was brief but, for her, it was lifelong." He also cited the counties’ and Tribe’s support for the name.

There are two dams and a valley in Montana with the word "Ivy" in their names. These features are located in Musselshell County and Valley County.

Comments Received by the Montana Geographic Names Advisor
Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Tuesday, August 9, 2016)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, August 11, 2016
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve this new name.

Vote: 13 in favor
0 against
0 abstentions

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