Chuck Muth: Welcome to ‘Mount Reagan,’ Nevada
October 5, 2012
Only 12 American presidents have mountain peaks named after them in the United States. FDR has one in Canada. Ronald Reagan, our 40th president, is certainly worthy of such an honor.
“Naming a mountain after Ronald Reagan seems entirely appropriate as his life’s accomplishments were monumental and seismic,” writes Reagan biographer Craig Shirley. “His character and integrity were stronger than granite.”
In 2010 Citizen Outreach, in cooperation with the Reagan Legacy Project, launched an effort to extend that honor to President Reagan right here in Nevada.
“Ronald Reagan had a long and positive relationship with the Silver State,” former Governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt says of the effort. “He loved Nevada and Nevadans loved President Reagan. As such, it makes abundant sense to name a Nevada mountain in his honor.”
After an extensive statewide site selection search, a high-profile and accessible mountain peak on the east side of Las Vegas – complete with an established hiking trail to the summit – has been identified and selected as a potential location for the nation’s official “Mount Reagan.”
In his 1984 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, President Reagan said:
“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.”
If that’s not Las Vegas, I don’t know what is. And I can’t think of a more appropriate location for “Mount Reagan” than 4,052 feet up in the sky looking down on the shiniest city of them all.
The federal Board on Geographic Names (BGN) must approve any official naming of a mountain in the 40th president’s name. An earlier effort to establish “Mount Reagan” in New Hampshire was rejected by the BGN two years ago, primarily because the effort intended to re-name an existing mountain rather than name an unnamed summit.
A request to name the thus-far unnamed highest peak in Nevada’s Frenchman Mountain range “Mount Reagan” must first be submitted to the Nevada State Board on Geographic Names. If approved here, the proposal then would be submitted to the federal BGN for consideration.
One of the more important factors in gaining approval for the naming request is public support – national, statewide and especially local in the community where the named peak is located. As such, an online petition has been set up at MountReagan.com where supporters of this project can add their names to the formal proposal that we hope to submit on the next anniversary of President Reagan’s birth, Feb. 6, 2013.
Welcome to Mount Reagan, Nevada.
• Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.com.