Vandals steal new Grandstaff Trailhead signs at Moab’s Negro Bill Canyon

Five days after BLM officials installed a new sign at the trailhead to Negro Bill Canyon, northeast of Moab, vandals reportedly stole the signage which honors the canyon’s namesake pioneer, William Grandstaff, who migrated from the American South in 1877, settled in the area and ran cattle in the canyon, Moab, Utah | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

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.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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12 Comments

  • anybody home September 30, 2016 at 11:45 am

    See, this is why we can’t have nice things.

    By the way, “Negro Bill”? Good grief. Cliven Bundy knows all about the knee-grows. How insulting.

  • Ron September 30, 2016 at 11:53 am

    “Negro Bill Canyon”. Hah! Didn’t Bill Clinton say he was the first “black president” of the USA?
    I would suggest checking with the BLM, but they don’t inhabit any BLM land anywhere near here.
    (sarcasim intended).

    • Henry September 30, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Perhaps Hillary would like it renamed “Colored Bill Canyon”, since she tells jokes about “Colored People’s Time”. (sarc)

  • Bob September 30, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    when i visited it the locals called it “n***** bill canyon”. why not go one farther and change negro to “african american bill canyon”

  • .... September 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    What’s this country coming to when we can’t even protect our trailhead signs

    • Real Life September 30, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Don’t worry Dumpster, you will be remebered too. Maybe a Pill Popper Gulch, or a Loser Internet Troll Valley are some accurate suggestions.

      • .... October 1, 2016 at 8:14 am

        God bless you my fellow brethren

        • .... October 1, 2016 at 8:45 pm

          I’m sure it was some RealLowlife scumbag that did it

  • godisdead September 30, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    It’s my understanding that this gentleman was called ” n****r” bill by the locals. The name of the canyon gradually changed to Negro Bill Canyon. For many years, there have been people asking for the name to be changed because it was insensitive. I believe that the Utah chapter of the NAACP, at one time, approved of the name, Negro Bill canyon, for historical reasons.
    By the way, it is a beautiful hike.

  • .... October 1, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I just think it’s funny in a way that someone would steal a trailhead sign LOL !

  • Lastdays October 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Maybe change it to “Cracker Carl Canyon”

  • .... October 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Well I’m sure in due time it will be changed to National Hatch Canyon. when he retires

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