55°
Light rain
FRI
 60°
 52°
SAT
 59°
 47°
SUN
 57°
 48°
MON
 60°
 45°
TUE
 58°
 47°

Sonoma supes neutral on Black Mountain name change

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to remain neutral on billionaire Jess Jackson's controversial bid to rename a prominent mountain in Alexander Valley.

A federal agency will ultimately decide whether Black Mountain becomes Alexander Mountain, as called for in Jackson Family Enterprises' year-old petition to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Still, before their vote, supervisors Mike Kerns and Valerie Brown expressed support for the change.

Supervisor Shirlee Zane criticized the proposal, saying it smacked of elitism. "A common name is not a rational argument for changing the name of a historical, geographical site," she said.

The name dates back to the late 1800s.

Brown later countered with the opposing view. "We have six Black Mountains in Sonoma County," she said. "This is Alexander Mountain and Alexander Valley."

The county actually has four peaks named Black Mountain, including the one south of Geyser Peak overlooking Jackson's 5,400-acre vineyard estate.

Two other peaks in the county are named Little Black Mountain, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A number of local landowners and the city councils of both Windsor and Healdsburg are opposed to changing the name of the 3,128-foot-high Black Mountain. The Cloverdale City Council is the only official body to endorse the name change.

An official with Jackson's company first said the change was to distinguish the peak from others with the same name and honor the heritage of pioneer settler Cyrus Alexander, for whom the valley was named.


© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  + |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View