Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Ward Creek to South Fork Gold Creek
Ravalli County, Montana

Status = Withdrawn

Description stream, 9.3 km (5.8 mi) long, heads in Bitterroot National Forest 1 km (0.6 mi) E of Ward Mountain at 46°10’10”N, 114°16’19”W, flows E then ENE to enter Gold Creek (proposed to be renamed North Fork Gold Creek)
Location 46°10’09”N, 114°11’14”W
PLSS Location Secs 23,26-30&19, T5N, R21W
Proposal to change a name to recognize historical usage
Proponent Cheryl Rothlisberger; Hamilton, MT
Not Ward Creek
Administrative area Bitterroot National Forest
Previous BGN Action None
See also 38902, 39103, 39104
GNIS ID 792811
Local Usage Gold Creek (local residents)
Published Gold Creek (USGS 1904/49), Gold (Ward) Creek (State Engineers Office, 1958), Ward Creek (USGS 1964, 1980, 1998; USFS 1981)
roposal is to change officially the name of Ward Creek to South Fork Gold Creek. The stream heads in the Bitterroot National Forest and flows east for a distance of 9.3 km (5.8 mi) to enter a stream that is named currently Gold Creek but which is proposed to be renamed to North Fork Gold Creek. Although the name Ward Creek has been published on Federal maps since 1964, the proponent reports that long-time landowners have always called it Gold Creek. That name also appeared on U.S. Geological Survey maps from 1904 until 1949, and water rights documents from the late nineteenth century applied that name as well. It is not known why the name was changed to Ward Creek on more recent Federal maps; the BGN was not involved. The proponent claims that the change has caused a negative impact on her ownership of her property because the State does not acknowledge the name on her older property records. She concedes that simply renaming Ward Creek to Gold Creek would leave the current Gold Creek unnamed, so she is suggesting it would be appropriate to name them North Fork Gold Creek and South Fork Gold Creek instead.

Domestic Names Committee Discussion - Withdrawn

From the July 13, 2006 minutes:
(Note: the case briefs on Review List 391 are incorrect; initial discussions on naming the tributaries suggested the more southerly branch might also be labeled “South Fork,” but the proponent believes that would be incorrect as the more historically accurate name has always been simply Gold Creek.)

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