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SHARSMITH PEAK
--Recent naming of another Sierran Peak: Mt. Andrea Lawrence            Back to Home page

Essence of and quotes from an article from the Sacramento Bee published December 31, 2012. For the full article: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/31/5085039/congress-bends-rules-to-rename.html
This article discusses  policies of the federal government's naming agency, the Board on Geographic Names of the U. S. Geological Survey and notes that while the board has been given the naming function by the Congress, Congress can act on its own. In the case of Mt. Andrea Lawrence, adjustments to board policy were enacted, including overriding the policy that a person must be deceased for 5 years before a commemorative naming proposal will be considered and the policy of discouraging naming features in designated wilderness areas. Congress found overriding considerations in the case of Mt. Andrea Lawrence, for Lawrence died March 31, 2009, less than 4 years after her death, and the peak now named for her lies within designated wildernesses [Ansel Adams Wilderness and Yosemite Wilderness].

Andrea Mead Lawrence was an Olympic gold medal skier, a 16-year member of the Mono County Board of Supervisors, and an environmental activist. She established Friends of Mammoth and the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers.

“Her passion and achievements were both larger than life, which is why I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to name this majestic peak in her honor,” declared Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. In April 2010, Boxer joined with Representative. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-California, in introducing the Mt. Andrea Lawrence bill. The Forest Service was asked to testify on the bill and had no objection but recommended consistency with policies of the Board on Geographic Names. The bill passed the Senate and also passed the House of Representatives by a 408-7 margin, with brief debate.

Article in theSheetNews.com (page 12) regarding Mt. Andrea Lawrence notes that the bill's supporters "include Andrea Lawrence's family, the Mono County Board of Suerpvisors, the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, the Mono County Democratic Central Committee, the Mammoth Town Council, the Mono Lake Committee, the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers, the Sierra Nevada Alliance, the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Town of Mammoth Council Member Wendy Sugimura and former Mono County Supervisor Tim Alpers.

Act of Congress designating Mt. Andrea Lawrence:

Testimony of U.S. Forest Service on S. 925 (presented July 28, 2011):

S. 925 THE MOUNT ANDREA LAWRENCE DESIGNATION ACT OF 2011

This legislation directs the designation of an unnamed 12,240 foot peak, located on the boundary between Ansel Adams Wilderness Area and Yosemite National Park approximately six tenths miles (0.6) northeast of Donahue Peak, as "Mt. Andrea Lawrence."

The management of the proposed Mt. Andrea Lawrence is shared between the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park. We have consulted with the U. S. Department of the Interior - National Park Service in the preparation of this statement.

Ms. Lawrence was a successful Olympic athlete and a committed public servant, having served 16-years on the Mono County Board of Supervisors and founded the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers. She was a strong supporter of the work of the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park. She worked tirelessly to protect the health and vitality of the environment and economies in the Eastern Sierra and the Sierra Nevada Region as a whole. Ms. Lawrence passed away at the age of 76 on March 31, 2009.

The Department has no objection to the enactment of S. 925 and notes that it would have no adverse impact to the management of the Inyo National Forest, or the Ansel Adams Wilderness. However, the Board on Geographic Names was created by Congress in 1947 to establish and maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government. It is Board policy not to consider names that commemorate living persons. In addition, a person must be deceased at least 5-years before a commemorative proposal will be considered. In accordance with the Board's interpretation of Wilderness Act of 1964, the Board on Geographic Names discourages naming features in congressionally designated wilderness areas unless an overriding need can be demonstrated. Although the Administration does not have any objections to the enactment of S. 925, maintaining consistency with the longstanding policies of the Board on Geographic Names is recommended.

The Department recognizes the contributions of Ms. Lawrence to both the United States and California, and concurs with the principles embodied in the legislation. Should the legislation be enacted, the Forest Service would work to ensure that our visitor information maps reflect the new designation, and understand that the National Park Service would do the same when their maps, signs, and other informational materials are replaced or updated.

This concludes my prepared statement and I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

Testimony of U.S. Forest Service on H.R. 1818 (presented March 29, 2012)

STATEMENT OF LESLIE A. C. WELDON

DEPUTY CHIEF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 29, 2012

CONCERNING H.R. 1818- Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2012

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on H.R. 1818, the Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2012. We have consulted with the U. S. Department of the Interior – National Park Service in the preparation of this statement.

H.R. 1818 – Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2012

This legislation directs the designation of an unnamed 12,240 foot peak, located on the boundary between Ansel Adams Wilderness Area and Yosemite National Park approximately six tenths miles (0.6) northeast of Donahue Peak, as "Mt. Andrea Lawrence." The management of the proposed Mt. Andrea Lawrence is shared between the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

Ms. Lawrence was a successful Olympic athlete and a committed public servant, having served 16-years on the Mono County Board of Supervisors and founded the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers. She was a strong supporter of the work of the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park. She worked tirelessly to protect the health and vitality of the environment and economies in the Eastern Sierra and the Sierra Nevada Region as a whole. Ms. Lawrence passed away at the age of 76 on March 31, 2009.

The Department has no objection to the enactment of H.R. 1818 and notes that it would have no adverse impact to the management of the Inyo National Forest, or the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

However, the Board on Geographic Names was created by Congress in 1947 to establish and maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government. It is Board policy not to consider names that commemorate living persons. In addition, a person must be deceased at least 5-years before a commemorative proposal will be considered. In accordance with the Board's interpretation of Wilderness Act of 1964, the Board on Geographic Names discourages naming features in congressionally designated wilderness areas unless an overriding need can be demonstrated. Although the Department does not have any objections to the enactment of HR 1818, maintaining consistency with the longstanding policies of the Board on Geographic Names is recommended.

The Department recognizes the contributions of Ms. Lawrence to both the United States and California, and concurs with the principles embodied in the legislation. Should the legislation be enacted, the Forest Service would work to ensure that our visitor information maps reflect the new designation, and understand that the National Park Service would do the same when their maps, signs, and other informational materials are replaced or updated

This concludes my statement, I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Testimony of National Park Service on naming of Mount Andrea Lawrence

Search on this topic has not yet revealed any testimony.

Legislative History of Mt. Andrea Lawrence Designation Act of 2011: http://legiscan.com/US/bill/SB925/2011: exits

President Obama signed the act on January 10, 2013

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