CONCORD, (AP) – A Kingston lawmaker wants to add another name to the state’s presidential mountain range: Ronald Reagan.
The range already features peaks named after presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower and others. Now, State Rep. Ken Weyler wants to rename Boott Spur – a crag on Mount Washington – in honor of his Republican hero.
His proposed legislation is part of a national effort to get every state to name at least one thing for Reagan. But even if it is approved by the Legislature, federal regulations require that such honorees be dead for five years before mountains or any other part of the natural landscape are named after them.
“It can never happen. Not even for a president,” said Roger Payne, executive secretary of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. “It’s simply not possible.”
Weyler, however, is undeterred. He and other supporters argue that Reagan has contributed enough to deserve a place on Mount Washington.
But opposition to the idea is brewing, particularly among hikers who suggest that Reagan’s environmental record might make his name more appropriate for the Seabrook nuclear power plant.
“This idea is disgraceful,” said Jeff Lee, a Connecticut man who has been hiking in the White Mountains for 40 years. “Reagan did more damage to the environment than any of his predecessors, and to rename Boott Spur for him, in the midst of one of the most splendid scenic wilderness areas in the East, would be far worse than simply ironic.”
Other critics said changing the name would erase part of New Hampshire history. The spur was named for Francis Boott, who participated in an exploration party up the mountain in 1816.
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