A 2016 law had confined the board to review only those places with offensive or insulting names.
Board members discussed the changes Tuesday, including a policy revision that naming requests for unnamed features must be written and go through a specific process.
The members approved two recommendations to the U.S. board that has final say:
Turtle Creek as the name for an unnamed tributary of Skunk Creek in Hartford in Minnehaha County; and
Iron River as the name for an unnamed tributary of the James River, starting in the Doland area of Spink County.
The recommendation is based on iron deposits in the area.
There isn’t another Iron River in South Dakota, although there are numerous other geographic features with the word “iron.”
“I don’t know that the U.S. board will consider this a river,” the board’s chairwoman, June Hansen, said.
She noted the U.S. board has relaxed its regulation about allowing duplicated names within the same state. Spink County for example has Turtle Creek that runs through Redfield.
The state board agreed to meet again September 30, when they’ll take public comments about the name of Crone Creek suggested for a waterway about 4.5 miles east of Pierre along SD 34 in Hughes County.