Nevada State Board on Geographic Names



Oversight Body – U.S. Board on Geographic Names:

Established in 1890, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names is responsible by law for establishing and maintaining uniform name usage throughout the Federal Government. Working in cooperation with State names authorities, the U.S. Board develops policies, principles, and procedures governing the spelling and application of geographic names on Federal maps and other publications. It also rules on name controversies, new names, and name changes.

History of Nevada State Board on Geographic Names:

In March of 1985, Senate Bill 265, amended Chapter 327 of Nevada Revised Statutes and created a Board to "coordinate and approve geographic names within the State for official recommendation to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names." The first meeting was held in August of 1985.


The Nevada Board consists of a representative from each of the following agencies:

Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, Inc.
National Park Service
Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Nevada Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
Nevada Dept. of Transportation
Nevada Historical Society
Nevada Indian Commission
Nevada State Library and Archives
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Reno
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Forest Service


The Board has an Executive Secretary who is a nonvoting member. This position is filled by the State Resident Cartographer if there is one, or is elected by the Board. A Chairman and Vice Chairman are also elected. The Board serves at the pleasure of the Legislature. The Board can be abolished by revising the Statute that created the Board. The Legislative Statute provides strict and precise operating rules but does not place the Board under the administrative authority of any state agency or official.


Cynthia Laframboise
Nevada State Library, Archives, and Public Records

Executive Secretary:

Christine Johnson
University of Nevada, Reno


By law the Board is limited to a maximum of four meetings per year. No compensation or expenses are allowed except as voluntarily contributed by the member’s agency. A simple majority is quorum and the Board functions under Robert’s Rules of Order "Procedures for Small Boards"


The charge of the Board is to evaluate all proposals for changes or additions to names of geographic features and places in the State; then to make official recommendations to the U.S. Board. Additionally to assist and cooperate with requests from the U.S. Board.

Optional charges:

The Board may adopt regulations to assist in conducting its business and may initiate naming proposals.


Any person, group, or agency, federal, state, or local, may submit a naming proposal or change request. The proposal is placed on the agenda for the next meeting for preliminary consideration. Notice is given to those affected by the naming proposal. Opportunity for public comment is given. Research and/or field investigations will be conducted as necessary. The proposal is considered at least two meetings before any final action is taken. All final actions are submitted to the U.S. Board as official recommendations.