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Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names

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Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names

The Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names (OKBGN) was created by the State Legislation in 1965 with the responsibility for determining the most appropriate names for geographic features within the State of Oklahoma and making the official recommendations to the United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) regarding Oklahoma names for official use in federal publications. The duty to act on the State’s behalf was assigned to the Oklahoma Geological Survey: HB 810, section 310 (b), (4).

Charge: The charge of the OKBGN is to assist and cooperate with the USBGN by evaluating all proposals concerning name changes, new names, and name controversies of geographic features and places in the State and then make official recommendations to the USBGN. The OKBGN functions under State statutes governing Boards: a simple majority is quorum. The OKBGN members receive no additional compensation. Support is supplied by the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

Before making a recommendation, the OKBGN seeks opinions from County Commissioners, City Councils, State agencies, interested individuals, and groups in the area where the feature in question is located. In addition, the USBGN staff seeks out the opinions of any Native American tribal group that may have had a historical interest to the feature. For Oklahoma, this means that for every case, tribal authorities have to be contacted, some of which no longer reside in the State. The entire process, from initial submission of a request to the final decision by the USBGN and signature by the Secretary of the Interior, is very time consuming, often taking one to three years, sometimes more.

It is recommended to review the Principles, Policies, and Procedures document before submitting a request. The document can be download from the link below. You can propose a new name or request a change to an existing name at this link as well:

Select “Propose or Change a Domestic Name.” 

Members of the Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names:

Carla Eichler, Chair

G. Russell Standridge, Member

T. Wayne Furr, Executive Secretary Emeritus/Advisor

Cesalea Ray, Member

For more information, please contact: Dr. Carla Eichler.

The Oklahoma Board on Geographic Names is a member of the Council of Geographic Names Authorities in the United States

Council of Geographic Names Authorities in the United States