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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions
Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library
Function: Determines the correct and most appropriate names of lakes, streams, place, and other geographic features in Minnesota, and establishes the correct spelling of such names.
The State Geographic Board was established by the legislature in 1937 (Laws 1937 c63) and consisted of the commissioner of conservation, the commissioner of state highways, and the director of the Minnesota Historical Society. Prior to the board's establishment, geographic names were changed by petitioning county boards (Laws 1925 c157). The county boards submitted all changes to the commissioner of drainage and waters to prevent duplication. The functions of the board were to determine the correct and most appropriate names of the lakes, streams, places, and other geographic features in the state and the spelling thereof; to pass upon and give names to unnamed geographic features in the state; and to cooperate with county boards in changing geographic names to eliminate duplication of names as far as possible. The board also sponsored the Minnesota gazetteer project, which was designed to compile and publish a gazetteer of Minnesota place names and was carried out with WPA funds. It was never completed. The board was abolished by the legislature in 1971 and its functions transferred to the commissioner of Natural Resources (Laws 1969 c1129 art3 s3), who assigned the work to the Division of Waters, Soils, and Minerals.
83A.015 TRANSFER OF POWERS AND DUTIES.
All the powers and duties now vested in, or imposed upon the state Geographic Board under this chapter, are transferred to, vested in, and imposed upon the commissioner of natural resources. The state Geographic Board as heretofore constituted is abolished.
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