Name That Mountain | GLBT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Name That Mountain 

Local Matters

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN -- in Vermont? A group of film fans wants to name a Green Mountain peak after the Academy Award-winning movie about two gay ranch hands in Montana. "Our goal," they write at, "is simply to dedicate our mountain as an eternal tribute to a movie that changed so many lives for the better." Brokeback Mountain is based on a short story by former Vermonter E. Annie Proulx.

The effort is the brainchild of "John," who writes in an email that he prefers to keep his identity secret -- especially from his homophobic boss. John has not yet chosen a mountain, but he has created an online petition supporting the idea. It's addressed to the State Board of Libraries, the agency responsible for naming geographic features. The quirky nature of this quest has attracted attention from TV stations and Internet news sites including Yahoo and, and has even drawn a comment from Governor Jim Douglas' office. Press Secretary Jason Gibbs told WPTZ TV in Plattsburgh that the guv is "completely neutral about the idea."

The Brokeback petition has more than 500 signatures. Section 10 of Vermont state law says that petitions to name geographical features need only 25 signatures to be considered.

But the state librarian's office suggests the process might be more difficult than it seems; Deborah Matheson, executive assistant to the state librarian, says finding an unnamed mountain may be a challenge. Matheson says her office doesn't keep a count of how many are unnamed, but contrary to the website's assertion, there really aren't that many up for grabs. "When somebody asks to name something," she says, "they seem to have a hard time finding something that doesn't already have a name."

Matheson notes that the board has only received two requests in the past two years -- one to name "Pittsford Ridge," which was granted, another to add an "h" to the official spelling of Alburg, which is pending.

She adds that the board would evaluate any request by holding a public meeting in the town where the change would occur. The board might also ask residents to weigh in on the change through an advisory vote. And in this case, she says, "I would think it would be a good idea."

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer is a former staff writer and currently an associate publisher at Seven Days, and is one of the organizers of the Vermont Tech Jam. She's also the Copublisher and Executive Editor of Kids VT, Seven Days' free monthly parenting publication.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in GLBT

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation