ST. GEORGE — Five days after the Bureau of Land Management updated signage in a Moab canyon to read “Grandstaff Trailhead” instead of “Negro Bill Canyon Trailhead,” the new signs were stolen.
Vandals reportedly stole two of the new signs from their steel posts sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning, according to BLM officials. Both signs are valued at around $800.
Because of the cost of the stolen signs, the person or persons involved in the theft could potentially face felony charges, officials said.
The BLM installed the signs Saturday to the trailhead now known as Grandstaff Trailhead, along State Route 128 in the Colorado River corridor northeast of Moab.
Officials renamed the trailhead to honor William Grandstaff, a black cowboy – known as “Negro Bill” – who migrated from the American South in 1877, settled in the area and ran cattle in the canyon. The canyon’s name was changed to Negro Bill during the Civil Rights era.
As of late, the BLM has decided to use the name Grandstaff on its properties connected with Negro Bill Canyon – a name that had drawn controversy as some say it is offensive while others feel it preserves the memory of a historical figure.
Anyone with information about the crime or the location of the signs is asked to call the BLM at 435-259-2100.
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