Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names
1938 Addition, Suite 200
1700 W. Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
The Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names has statutory responsibility for determining the most appropriate names for place names in Arizona. To help your understanding of the policies, practices and procedures the board follows in deciding a name issue for the State of Arizona, the following documents are provided:
Brochure about the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names
Membership List of the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names
Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 3, Historic Names
The significance of geographic names was recognized by the State as early as 1945, when Arizona's Legislature declared it to be the policy of the state that geographic features retain the names they currently had in order to preserve Arizona's historical records. In 1982, the Arizona Board was created, and in 1990, the Arizona Legislature gave responsibility for determining the most appropriate names for geographic features to it.
Pages from the Principles, Policies and Procedures: Domestic Geographic Names from the United States Board on Geographic Names
The Arizona Board follows the principles, policies and procedures of the United States Board on Geographic Names.
Principles, Policies and Procedures of the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names
Additional principles, policies and procedures established by the Arizona board.
Resolution of the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names
The Arizona Board has resolved to increase awareness of the Board and proactively communicate its role in the State of Arizona.
Geographic Names Information System
The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), contains information about almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States. The federally recognized name of each feature described in the database is identified, and references are made to a feature»s location by state, county, and geographic coordinates. The GNIS is our nation»s official repository of domestic geographic names information.
An Application form for submitting name proposals
All name proposals must include a completed Application, supporting documentation, and a map showing the location of the feature.
A Recommendation form for submitting a recommendation on a name proposal
The board considers information provided by the proponent, opponents, if any, and the board's staff in its deliberations on proposed names. The board's support staff contacts governmental agencies, Native American tribal governments, land owners, interested individuals and affected counties, and also conducts independent, systematic, thorough research for background on the historical and current local usage of a proposed name. This can take some time, therefore, the more documentation the board receives from a proponent, the easier it is for the board to decide on a name proposal.
These procedures allow anyone from the public or a government agency to propose a name and allow for public input at open meetings, both for and against a proposed name. The board goes to this effort in furtherance of its statutory charge to preserve and protect the state's history as reflected in Arizona's geographic names.
Meetings of the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names (ASBGHN) are open to the public. Agendas are posted on the calendar and minutes are archived for public review.
If the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names can be of further assistance, please contact Julie Hoff, Research/Maps Librarian, firstname.lastname@example.org.