Chipeta National Park?

Many places, things, and organizations have been named for Chipeta. In 1909, while she was still living, her name was proposed for a National Forest.  

President Theodore Roosevelt had authorized the 1905 expansion of Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Forest Reserve into the area of northern Colorado near Estes Park. Three years later conservationist and nature writer Enos Mills proposed creating a national park of more than a thousand square miles to include Colorado’s Medicine Bow Forest Reserve.

The Fort Collins Weekly Courier reported on November 3, 1909, “Suggestions for names for the Medicine Bow forest are beginning to reach the…Courier, as well as Forest Supervisor Wheeler. Mrs. J.W. Skinner suggests ‘Chipeta’…Enos Mills…suggest[s] ‘Long’s Peak’ and ‘Rocky Mountain’.” The Courier noted other submissions included “Ute” and “Roosevelt Bear.”

The following July that section of Colorado’s Medicine Bow Forest Reserve became the Colorado National Forest. The U.S. Geological Survey evaluated the area in September 1912 and proposed a national park of about 700 square miles. The first bill proposing the park was introduced in Congress February 6, 1913. Almost two years later on January 26, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation creating the 358.5 square mile Rocky Mountain National Park. The park has since been expanded to 417 square miles. 

Sources: and 



Published in: on March 16, 2009 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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