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Sen. Murkowski: Mountain, Ice Field Named in Honor of Stevens

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today unveiled legislation honoring the late Sen. Ted Stevens by naming a mountain and part of an ice field after him.

"Sen. Ted Stevens was a true Alaskan and a great champion of the state," Murkowski said. "This is a fitting tribute for a man who was both a mentor and a personal friend to me, and to whom all Alaskans owe so much."

The proposed Stevens Peak - commonly known as South Hunter Peak - is located in Denali National Park and Preserve, just south of Mount McKinley, and is visible from the Parks Highway. At 13,895 feet, the mountain is the tallest unnamed peak in Alaska.

Murkowski has also proposed naming the northern half of the Chugach ice field after Stevens - the southern and western portions of the field already being named for Harding and Sargent.

The Ted Stevens Ice Field would encompass the northern and eastern half of the Chugach Mountains, which is the foundation for the Harvard, Matanuska, Columbia and numerous other Southcentral glaciers.

"Ted Stevens was one of the true giants of Alaska's short history," Murkowski said. "It's an honor to nominate both a mountain and an ice field to be named in his memory."

The legislation formerly requires the U.S. Geological Place Names Board to christen the peak and ice field within 30 days of its passage.

Murkowski, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, had planned to introduce the Stevens bill at Thursday's markup of the Department of Interior annual budget but the markup was cancelled for unrelated reasons. 

Stevens, who died in a plane crash near Dillingham on Aug. 9, represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate for all but 11 of its years as a state. He first came to Alaska in 1956 and was appointed to the Senate in 1968.

"During his more than 40 years in the Senate, he played a significant role in the transformation of Alaska from an impoverished territory to a full-fledged state," Murkowski said. "While there are a number of facilities named after Stevens, this bill will guarantee that future generations of Alaskans will remember him."

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