The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today voted to urge federal officials to name a peak in the Santa Monica Mountains in honor of the late hiker, author and conservationist Milt McAuley, who died in 2008.
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky recommended that the board send a letter to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, asking it to designate Peak 2049 along the Backbone Trail after McAuley.
Yaroslavsky called McAuley a “singular leader in the effort to preserve the Santa Monica Mountains.”
McAuley was part of a band of hikers who helped map the Backbone Trail, a 60-mile ridgeline route running from Will Rogers State Historic Park west to Point Mugu.
McAuley’s guidebooks about mountain wildflowers and hiking trails helped popularize local hikes and build public support for conservation efforts.
“If you didn’t build a trail and invite people in, someone would come along and subdivide the land,” McAuley told the Los Angeles Times in 2001. “To preserve parkland, you need access to it. Otherwise, nobody will vote the funds to acquire it.”
Peak 2049 sits between Malibu Canyon Road and Corral Canyon Road and is topped by a sandstone rock that makes it easy to identify from miles away.
McAuley wrote about a hike to the summit and some hiking authorities already refer to the spot as McAuley Peak.
Federal officials should formalize that designation “in honor of his extraordinary contributions to the public’s appreciation of the great outdoors and to the conservation of the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as Milt McAuley’s personal connection to Peak 2049,” Yaroslavsky said in a statement.
McAuley died Dec. 10, 2008, at the age of 89. He stopped hiking just three years earlier and led a seven-day hike along the Backbone Trail at the age of 83, according to his obituary in The Times.