Federal officials are pausing a plan that could lead to new names for Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Buford Dam after locals objected to changing the monikers of landmarks now named for Confederate soldiers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement Friday announcing the pause pending further guidance from the Department of the Army.
U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Republican who represents much of northeast Georgia, said he called the Corps of Engineers Friday to express opposition. He said the pause is “a tremendous victory” and that “renamings would have attempted to rewrite history, impose massive burdensome costs on our community, and create unnecessary mass confusion.”
Lake Lanier is an enormous reservoir spanning almost 58 square miles (150 square kilometers) and impounding the Chattahoochee River northeast of Atlanta. It was named for poet Sidney Lanier when it was built after World War II. Lanier served as a private in the Confederate army and later wrote “Song of the Chattahoochee,” a poem about the river.
Officials in the Gainesville area also oppose the change.
Clyde Morris, a board member with advocacy group Lake Lanier Association, told The Times on Friday that connections between the Confederacy, Lanier and Buford are “really too remote” to justify changing the names, saying each man is better known for something other than their time in the military.
Republished with permission from The Associated Press.