Alaska News

An Aleutian volcano will be named after the late Alaska Rep. Don Young

WASHINGTON — The late Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young will officially have a volcano in the Aleutian Islands named after him.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that renames Mount Cerberus, a volcano on Semisopochnoi Island, as Mount Young. Alaska’s congressional delegation said the volcano is an appropriate tribute to the congressman who died in March at age 88 while serving as dean of the House. The volcano is one of the most active in the Aleutian Islands.

Republican U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, also of Alaska, introduced the Don Young Recognition Act in September, and it passed the Senate with unanimous consent earlier this month. It now heads to the president’s desk.

“I had an opportunity to serve with him for many years. For really all of my life, I think he has been my congressman,” Murkowski said in a speech on the Senate floor. “I’ve known his softer side, and certainly his gruff and more explosive side, so as we were looking for something that might be fitting, we looked not only at mountains but we looked at mountains that continue to blow their top to this very day.”

[Gruff, warm, combustible, shrewd: For 49 years, Don Young’s ideology was ‘Alaska’]

“It’s great to be able to be naming a volcano, very appropriately a volcano, after Don Young,” Sullivan said in a Senate floor speech earlier this month.

The measure also renames the federal office building in Fairbanks to be the Don Young Federal Office Building, and the Job Corps Center located in Palmer to be the Don Young Alaska Job Corps Center. The bill text also details Young’s life and career for the congressional record.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, who was elected to Alaska’s lone House seat after Young’s death, called Young “a force of nature” in a statement and said the bill is a “perfect tribute.”

Riley Rogerson

Riley Rogerson is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News based in Washington, D.C., and is a fellow with Report for America. Contact her at