Alaska’s U.S. senators want to honor the late Rep. Don Young by naming a volcano after him

WASHINGTON — Alaska’s U.S. senators want to rename an active volcano in the Aleutian Islands after the late U.S. Rep. Don Young.

The longtime congressman’s former peers, Republican U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, say Young is a fitting namesake for a volcano. The one they hope to rename Mount Young is currently called Mount Cerberus.

“Through this legislation, my goal is that we not only pay tribute to a great man who did so much for our state, but that it ensures that what he has done for Alaskans is not forgotten,” Murkowski said in a statement. “Don Young moved mountains for Alaska, it’s only fitting we name one after him — even if it is a bit unpredictable.”

The 2,598-foot volcanic peak is one of the most active in the Aleutian Islands, according to a statement from the senators’ offices. It is located on Semisopochnoi Island.

Young died in March at age 88, after representing Alaska in the U.S. House of Representatives for 49 years.

Young’s former chief of staff, Pamela Day, said she thought the late dean of the House would have seen the humor in the senators’ effort.

“He had a very wicked sense of humor, and I think he would be tickled,” Day said. “He would find it very fitting and funny, and he’d probably have a sparkle in his eye when he talked about it.”


The bill would also rename the federal office building in Fairbanks to be the Don Young Federal Office Building, and the Job Corps Center located in Palmer would be the Don Young Alaska Job Corps Center.

Murkowski and Sullivan introduced the bill Thursday before the Senate adjourned for recess.

“Future generations will be reminded of this larger-than-life Alaskan, a true man of the people, who was ceaselessly invested in improving the livelihoods of Alaskans,” Sullivan said in a statement.

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 rrogerson@adn.com.