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Harney now Black Elk Peak

Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak), at 7,242 feet above sea level, is the highest point in...
Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak), at 7,242 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the United States east of the Rockies. (KOTA)
Published: Aug. 11, 2016 at 3:23 PM CDT
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Harney Peak is no more; being renamed Black Elk Peak by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names.

While the debate over renaming the peak has been ongoing for some time, the fact that a decision was made comes as a surprise to many … including South Dakota’s governor.

“I am surprised by this decision, as I have heard very little support in South Dakota for renaming Harney Peak,” Governor Dennis Daugaard said in a release. “This federal decision will cause unnecessary expense and confusion. I suspect very few people know the history of either Harney or Black Elk.”

The state opposed renaming the peak.

Last year, the geographic board was tinkering with the idea of renaming it Hinhan Kaga. Translated that means Making of Owls. Opposition caused the board to balk.

, who died in 1950, was an Oglala Lakota spiritual leader. He narrated the events of his life (including being at the Battle of Little Bighorn) that turned into the book "Black Elk Speaks."

, at 7,242 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the United States east of the Rockies.

It was originally named for

, who fought against Native Americans as America pushed west.