Name That Mountain | LGBTQ | 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."

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

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

Pin It

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Social Sentinel, Burlington Code Academy and Maureen McElaney Win Awards at 12th Vermont Tech Jam
  • Vermont's Top Innovators Honored at Tech Jam 2018

    Social Sentinel, a Burlington-based company that identifies threatening content on social media, was among the winners of the 2018 Tech Jam awards, presented last Friday at the 12th Vermont Tech Jam. The prizes, given annually by the Vermont Technology Alliance, BTV Ignite and Seven Days, recognize leaders in the state's tech ecosystem. The awards ceremony was the culmination of a busy day at the free career and tech expo organized by Seven Days and presented by Vermont Works. Representatives from more than 50 companies and colleges talked with hundreds of attendees who walked the expo floor. Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance, said he talked with job seekers from across Vermont and outside the state at the event, "including someone, suitcase in hand, who visited from North Carolina."
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees HR, helps manage Seven Days' digital staff and oversees its parenting publication, Kids VT. In 2018, she designed and administered a statewide youth civics project, the... more


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 LGBTQ

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation