Don Young Recognition Act signed into law

Don Young Recognition Act signed into law
Don Young Recognition Act signed into law
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 1:16 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2023 at 6:09 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Don Young Recognition Act was signed into law on Thursday, according to a joint press release by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.

The bill renames an active volcano in the Aleutian Islands, a federal office building in Fairbanks and the Job Corps center in Palmer after the late congressman. Rep. Young died on March 18, 2022, ending his 49-year stretch as Alaska’s sole congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Senate passed the Don Young Recognition Act on Dec. 13. Afterward, Sen. Murkowski spoke to the senate floor about the bill’s passage, and how they landed on renaming a volcano after the late congressman.

“I had an opportunity to serve with him for many years ― for really all of my life he has been my congressman,” Murkowski said. “I’ve known him in his softer side and certainly in his gruff and more explosive side and so we were looking for something that might be fitting (to rename after Young). We looked not only at mountains but we looked at mountains that continue to blow their top to this very day and selected a volcano on the Aleutian Islands.”

Sen. Sullivan said the volcano, Mt. Cerberus, is symbolic of Young’s “authentic, tenacious, indomitable Alaskan spirit.”

“Mt. Young, the Don Young Alaska Job Corps Center, and the Don Young Federal Building will remind future Alaskans about this once-in-a-generation public servant and all that he accomplished for the people and state he loved so much,” Young said in a statement. “We miss him every day.”

According to his official biography on the U.S. Congress website, Young was born in Meridian, California, and began his life of public service in Alaska in 1960, when he was elected the mayor of Fort Yukon, a small community nestled along the Yukon River about 145 miles northeast of Fairbanks.