Debate simmers over name of Devils Tower monument in Wyoming

FILE - This undated file photo shows Devils Tower near Moorcraft, in northeastern Wyoming. As the nation's first national monument approaches its 110th anniversary in 2016, some American Indian tribes are seeking to change the name of the geologic feature to Bear Lodge and the name of the monument to Bear Lodge National Monument, because they view the name as unbefitting for a monument they consider to be a sacred site. Opponents of the idea say changing the name would cause confusion and hurt tourism. (Stephen Berend/Gillette News Record via AP, File)

FILE - This undated file photo shows Devils Tower near Moorcraft, in northeastern Wyoming. As the nation's first national monument approaches its 110th anniversary in 2016, some American Indian tribes are seeking to change the name of the geologic feature to Bear Lodge and the name of the monument to Bear Lodge National Monument, because they view the name as unbefitting for a monument they consider to be a sacred site. Opponents of the idea say changing the name would cause confusion and hurt tourism. (Stephen Berend/Gillette News Record via AP, File)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — President Theodore Roosevelt designated a rock column in northeast Wyoming the nation’s first national monument on Sept. 24, 1906.

When he did so, he signed a proclamation that inadvertently left out a punctuation mark and what was supposed to be Devil’s Tower National Monument became Devils Tower National Monument instead.

Today, 110 years after that rocky start, the tower’s name remains an issue for some who contend it isn’t befitting of the tower’s religious significance to local American Indians.

Great Sioux nation spiritual leader Arvol Looking Horse has petitioned to change the name of the geologic feature to Bear Lodge and the name of the monument to Bear Lodge National Monument.

But opponents of changing the name say it’s unnecessary and would only cause confusion and hurt tourism.

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