General Question

Evan's avatar

How do I go about getting a creek or stream a proper name?

Asked by Evan (805points) April 18th, 2010

Okay so of course i could just “give a name” to any waterway that I come across in the woods. But lets say I’m back country hiking, and I come across a stream, or a creek. Let’s say that waterway is even recorded on the USGS quad, but isn’t given a name. What’s the process for getting that waterway officially named?

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6 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

If it is permanent creek or stream it is likely that it does have a name even if not designated on all maps etc. Find the local government records for the area and do a search.

snowberry's avatar

I have noticed in areas of the country that get a significant amount of rain, people often don’t bother to name a watercourse. Where I’m from, we name every creek, gully, intermittent stream, pond, and slough, even if it’s only got water in it two or three weeks out of the year. We even name our canals! I have not noticed the same reverence for water where it is more plentiful (the mid west and east coast). I think there is a reason for that.

Your answer might depend on where this waterway is located.

janbb's avatar

Contact the authority controlling the waterway, ask them if there is a designated name for it and if not, is there a procedure by which you could name it.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Do what early explorers in the Americas did: Carry a supply of flags from the country of your choice. Plant your flag and claim your new discovery in the name of [insert title and name of chosen political leader here], and give it any damn name you want. After that (this is actually the critical part) garrison sufficient troops there to fight off the locals, and re-draw the maps.

Evan's avatar

Well I’ve looked on just about every map, and I’ve still come across numerous waterways in the state (WA) that aren’t named, but are either year round, or seasonal but still marked on maps. So the next question is.. who controls the naming of waterways? is it the land management agency (i.e. whoever owns it, such as national parks, national forest, state DNR, etc) or is it the city/county government, or the state, or federal government in general that controls waterway naming?

Strauss's avatar

There is a creek in Colorado (just east of Denver) that is actually called Nameless Creek!

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