Late Sen. Ted Stevens Honored With Mountain In Denali National Park and Preserve

A 13,895-foot mountain (boxed) in Denali National Park and Preserve today bears the name of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. NPS photo by Coley Gentzel.

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."

Comments

How symbolic that the King of pork barrel spending should have a mountain named after him -- to represent that mountain of debt he left behind for the rest of us and our children's children to pay off.

I think this is a wonderful tribute to a man who was a true Alaskan in that he wanted a strong state and found great value in protecting its natural resources. The Ted Stevens legacy will take years to define because of the reach of his impact, but there's little doubt every corner of the state owes some of its success to Stevens.