A previously unnamed peak rising nearly 14,000 feet above Denali National Park and Preserve has been named in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, who died last year in a plane crash while heading on a fishing trip.
Mr. Stevens was the longest serving Republican senator in history, according to the National Park Service, representing the State of Alaska from December 1968 to January 2009.
"During his tenure he played key roles in Alaskan legislation including the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA)," the agency noted in announcing Mount Stevens.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced the legislation to honor her colleague by naming the 13,895-foot mountain for him, and on October 18 President Obama signed the requisite legislation. The peak is located to the south of Mount Hunter, according to the Park Service.
The legislation also named an 8,340-square-mile icefield in the Chugach National Forest after the late senator.
Vic Knox, deputy director for the Alaska Region of the NPS, had the following to say when the renamed mountain was dedicated:
"Mount Stevens is rarely climbed. It stands as a difficult task, one where solitude is to be expected and where self-reliance and a high degree of talent are expected. Those qualities remind us of the senator himself. Not the tallest, but among the toughest, self-reliant and talented throughout his remarkable life," Mr. Knox said. "And it is appropriate that Mount Stevens be high in the Alaska Range, in Denali National Park – itself an icon for Alaska. The senator was a great supporter of national parks.
"As is expected across a career as long as his, there were disagreements on particular issues, but by and by the senator and those of us proud to wear the uniform shared the belief in the mission of the national parks in Alaska: that there would be large tracts of wild land protected from the changes of human development, but open to the enjoyment by all generations, present and future."