- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

STEHEKIN, Wash. (AP) - The federal government has renamed a lake and a creek in north-central Washington state to honor an African American miner who staked claims in the area 125 years ago.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names approved the name change Thursday. Instead of “Coon Lake” and “Coon Creek” - terms many considered racist - the waterways are now “Howard Lake” and “Howard Creek,” after pioneer Wilson Howard.

They’re north of Lake Chelan in the North Cascades National Park complex. Park spokeswoman Denise Shultz says the park will start changing the name on websites, maps and publications, as well as any trail signs - though because of the weather in the mountains, the signs might not be replaced until next spring.

Jonathan Rosenblum, the Seattle resident who petitioned for the change, called it a fitting tribute to Howard. State Sen. Pramila Jayapal organized a letter from more than 50 lawmakers advocating for the name change.

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