Colorado Squawfish renamed to Colorado Pikeminnow to remove racial slur

Representational imageJoshuaWoroniecki

Last week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced a decision to rename the Colorado Squawfish to the Colorado Pikeminnow removing the derogatory phrase. The decision was finalized during the May 4 through May 5 commission meeting.

Last November, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland declared the word officially derogatory and created the national Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force to remove the name from geographic features nationally. Secretary Deb Haaland, who is the first Native American to serve in the Cabinet in U.S. history, said:

Words matter, particularly in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds. Consideration of these replacements is a big step forward in our efforts to remove derogatory terms whose expiration dates are long overdue. Throughout this process, broad engagement with Tribes, stakeholders, and the general public will help us advance our goals of equity and inclusion.

The Colorado Pikeminnow was once found in the Colorado River basin throughout the mainstream, but due to human impacts and non-native competition, the species have retreated to the upper Colorado river basin. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service lists the species as endangered in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

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