What You Missed: Deb Haaland Orders Removal of Offensive Names on Federal Land

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The U.S. government has formally placed derogatory and racist place names in its crosshairs.

On Friday, November 19, U.S. interior secretary Deb Haaland ordered the creation of a panel to review and remove offensive names from use on federal lands. The panel’s top priority is to find replacement names for sites that currently use the word squaw, which Haaland officially designated as derogatory and banned from use.

“Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage—not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression,” Haaland said in a statement. “Today’s actions will accelerate an important process to reconcile derogatory place names and mark a significant step in honoring the ancestors who have stewarded our lands since time immemorial.”

The order could impact more than 650 place names that use the now banned word, according to a study from the Board of Geographic Names. In recent years regional and state governments in Oregon, Arizona, and Maine—among other states—have passed laws prohibiting its use in place names. And earlier this year, the California ski area formerly named Squaw Valley officially changed its name to Palisades Tahoe.

But a quick Google search of the word in California alone brought up several dozen roads, geographic formations, and even designated communities that still bear the name. Among them is Squaw Valley, a designated community in Fresno County, where the push to find a new name has yet to gain traction.

Changing names often takes years to accomplish, but Haaland’s new effort adds more muscle to the process. The new task force, comprised of representatives from the Interior Department and other federal land-management agencies, will also consult tribal officials and seek public feedback before finalizing a name change.

Life Time Launches New Pro Cycling Series

On Monday the fitness chain Life Time launched the Life Time Grand Prix, a six-race series in 2022 for professional cyclists that awards a $250,000 prize purse.

The new series includes three mountain-bike and three gravel races already owned by the fitness brand, among them the Leadville Trail 100 MTB and Unbound Gravel events. Life Time will select 40 pro riders to compete —20 men and 20 women—and each must commit to participate in all six events. The races cater to elite and age-group riders alike, and the pro cyclists participating in the series will race within the main field of competitors.

Life Time will award points for top finishes at each event, and the final prize purse will be distributed based on the top five finishes at the six races. The purse will pay out ten deep in both the men’s and women’s fields.

The series is the latest development in gravel cycling’s meteoric growth. These events send riders on long adventures along dirt backroads and operate like road marathons, where all participants start together and ride the same route. In 2020, a report by USA Cycling pegged the number of gravel events across the U.S. at 700. In 2021, the Belgian Waffle Ride—a popular gravel race in Southern California—expanded into a national series, with new events in Kansas, Utah, and North Carolina.

Improper Hydration

Last summer, Australian professional cyclist Lachlan Morton of the EF Education-Nippo pro cycling team rode the entire Tour de France route as a bikepacking adventure. In this video clip Morton shares his fueling strategy which includes sugar, caffeine, and yes, beer.

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