Committee to reconsider Tolkienesque name for mountains

Committee to reconsider Tolkienesque name for mountains
The state Board of Natural Resources is directing the Board of Geographic Names to reconsider its decision to adopt the name “Misty Mountains” from The Hobbit for an area on the Olympic Peninsula. Photo:

The state Board of Natural Resources (BNR) is asking the state Committee on Geographic Names to reconsider a recommendation to name several peaks on the Olympic Peninsula “Misty Mountains” after J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, as well as to name a nearby creek “Misty Creek.”

The proposal was submitted several years ago by a resident who lives near the town of Blyn. In their application said they were first inspired to use the name for their own property. Their hope is to also name a nearby valley Rivendell. The seven-member committee consisting of state and tribal representatives and private citizens approved the final recommendation in October.

The committee received letters supporting the proposal signed by 17 residents who live near the creek. However, opposed were the U.S. Forest Service as well as the nearby Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. In a letter submitted to the committee, the tribe argued that the peaks have existing names and if changed should be drawn from local history, “rather than a name drawn from fictitious literature that has no cultural or historical tie to this region.”

BNR voted at its March 4 meeting to send the names back to the committee for reconsideration.


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