Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Uncertainty Remains for GMT-1 Project Following DOI Assessment

2014/10/29

Anchorage, AKAlaskan Congressman Don Young today shared his thoughts on the Department of Interior’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) of the ConocoPhillips Greater Moose’s Tooth Unit One (GMT-1) project within the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NRP-A).

“After years of trying to move the ball forward on responsible resource development within the NPR-A, I am pleased to see a plan that includes an access road,” said Congressman Don Young. “However, I share some of the same concerns expressed today by industry representatives that this assessment leaves us with too many unanswered questions regarding the future of this project and dismisses a preferred road alternative.”

“Unfortunately, DOI’s assessment leaves GMT-1 up against pending reviews by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, which have previously held up a number of Alaskan projects, including production within CD-5," Young said. " It remains to be seen what mitigation and other requirements will pile onto this process, but for now I am happy to see it move forward.”

 

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ICYMI: Congressman Young Welcomes Home Last Frontier Honor Flight

2014/10/29

Anchorage, AK – On Saturday, October 25, Alaskan Congressman Don Young joined a group of thankful Alaskans at the Ted Stevens International Airport to welcome home more than 20 World War II and Korean Conflict veterans from Washington, D.C. as part of the Last Frontier Honor Flight.

Click here to watch the Last Frontier Honor Flight Welcome Home Celebration at the Ted Stevens International Anchorage Airport on October 25, 2014.

Congressman Young personally greeted each veteran and volunteer as they deplaned and joined a procession through the terminal to where more than a hundred guests – including friends and family, active duty and retired military, and the Dimond High School JROTC – waited to celebrate their arrival.

Congressman Young gave the following comments at the Last Frontier Honor Flight “Welcome Home” celebration:

“Welcome home. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to meet you [ in Washington, D.C.], but it’s great to greet you here as you return home. Remember when you returned home from combat they welcomed you too; we welcome you with our hearts. Thank you for your service. God bless you for what you’ve done. I hope everyone who has freedom today remembers the Great War and how you defended this country, man, women and child, and especially yourselves. Thank you!”

Veterans and volunteers of the Last Frontier Honor Flight departed the Ted Stevens International Airport on October 21, 2014 and enjoyed time touring war memorials in Washington, D.C. before making the more than 4,000 mile journey home on October 25, 2014.

 

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Congressman Young Expresses Sincere Apology for Pain Caused by Statements on Suicide

2014/10/24

Anchorage, AK – In a speech to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared his sincere and honest apology for the pain caused by his recent statements on the issue of suicide. In a remorseful speech to AFN Convention delegates, Congressman Young focused on his own personal experiences of dealing with a trouble family member, in addition to the steps Congress can take to support mental health programs, combat domestic violence, and prevent suicide. Congress Young shared the following comments:

“I have served the public and state of Alaska for 45 years – all of the Alaskan people. There is however, a private side of me that few see.  You may not know it but much of that private side is what drives my public side. It motivates me to tackle some pretty tough issues and I don’t often share that motivation because it is private. But today, I’m going to address a little bit of that private side.

“Recently, I addressed one of those issues with high school students in Wasilla – the issue of suicide.  Because I have been touched by this issue, it’s very personal to me. It may have caused me to mangle some of my statements and comments that caused this uproar. But I will tell you, I have asked myself many times, did I do enough? Did I take the nephew away from an abusive father? Did I love him enough? Did I do enough? Apparently, I did not. I made up my mind that I was trying to prevent the future of suicides from occurring.

“I know that suicide rates in rural Alaska are the highest in the country and of grave concern to all of you in this room. We have to come to grips with that if we want to prevent suicide. We cannot bring back our loved ones; we cannot, as myself, dwell on what has happened, although it is very painful not to. We in fact need to address the issue, why has it happened? Why does it happen?

“Because of my comments, I am profoundly and genuinely sorry for the pain it has caused the Alaskan people. I am genuinely sorry for the pain I have caused the individual, as I have experienced it, and hope that you won’t have to experience that.

“My record paints a very different picture. I give suicide and mental health issues high priority. I cosponsored and voted to fund the Mental Health First Aid act, which was enacted into law.  It gives $10 million in grants to state and local entities to train teachers, schools, police officers, and others how to identify the warning signs of someone suffering from a variety of mental illnesses such as depression or substance abuse or contemplating suicide.  With that knowledge, trainees would be trained on how to safely and effectively direct the individual to help.

“We may be able to give some of that funding to the John Baker Youth Leaders Program in Kotzebue. Kotzebue has not had a youth suicide in 5 years because of the strong support group they have built. That is what we must do around this state.

“I fought for and voted in favor of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which is part of a nationwide state and tribal youth suicide intervention program network. I will continue to support the Victims of Crime Act and Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Programs, both of which fund programs to combat domestic abuse and provide adequate safe support for the victims.

“To combat domestic violence and suicide, it takes two steps. (1) Make effective mental health treatment services available, and (2) get the individual suffering from those diseases to seek treatment.  As your Congressman, I will fight for bills that create and maintain these mental health treatment services. It is up to all of us, friends and families, to somehow convince those suffering to seek the help they need.

“Again, I am profoundly sorry to those I offended.”

 

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Don Young Honored with Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award

2014/10/08

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young was honored today for his work on critical seniors’ issues by the 60 Plus Association, a 22-year-old non-profit, nonpartisan group, that emphasizes less government and lower taxes when addressing seniors’ issues. Young was recognized, in part, for his support to protect Social Security and Medicare for current and future seniors, fighting to repeal overbearing regulations within Obamacare and ending the ‘death tax.’  

“I am honored for the recognition offered today by the 60 Plus Association and for their support to protect senior citizens from crushing regulations and policies that attack years of hard earned retirement and savings, said Congressman Don Young. “As I’ve said before, the Federal government should not be the first in line when an individual passes away and leaves their life savings to their family. I have consistently worked to reduce the inflated tax burden facing our nation’s elderly and will continue to defend our seniors in Congress.”

Today’s announcement came from entertainer and music legend Pat Boone, who serves as spokesman for the non-partisan senior citizen advocacy group.

“I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Don Young. Seniors can depend on Don Young,” Boone said in a statement today.

Congressman Young has been recognized with the Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award on a number of occasions, along with a bipartisan group of Congressman who continue to actively support the nation’s elderly.

 “As a trusted public servant, Don Young will continue to protect the pocket books of senior citizens and end the wasteful spending of our tax dollars, which has our government now borrowing over 40 cents of every dollar to pay its bills. Chairman and founder of 60 Plus Jim Martin said following the announcement. “Seniors have to live within their means and so should our government.”

 “Don Young is more than just a committed public servant with a distinguished track record of fighting on behalf of seniors in Washington; Don Young is a trusted voice for smaller, more effective and less expensive government,” Martin added. “Don Young is a tireless worker who makes decisions every day based on what's best for our children and grandchildren. Seniors have no better friend in the U.S. House of Representatives than Congressman Don Young.”    

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Alaska Delegation Urges DOE to Approve Alaska LNG Export Application

2014/10/07

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Congressman Don Young, R-Alaska, last week called on the Department of Energy to expeditiously approve a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license to ensure Alaska’s stranded natural gas resources reach market.

In a letter sent to Director of the Division of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities John Anderson, the delegation detailed the Alaska LNG Project’s plans to export LNG to both free-trade agreement (FTA) and non-free trade Agreement (non-FTA) countries, as well as its importance to the state’s future.

“The Alaska LNG Project would be the largest integrated natural gas, LNG project of its kind ever designed and constructed, with an estimated cost of $45 billion to $65 billion,” the delegation wrote. “No other single project is as important to Alaska’s economic future as this massive infrastructure project.”

The developers of the Alaska LNG Project – Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP, and the pipeline company TransCanada – are seeking a license to export 2.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for 30 years. To date, the largest volume of LNG approved for export by DOE was 2.2 Bcf a day for the Sabine Pass project in Louisiana. DOE has also typically approved licenses for 20 years.

“This is an important project for the future of the state’s economy and it’s important that DOE officials move quickly to approve it as they have all other export projects from Alaska,” Murkowski said. “I’m committed to doing everything I can at the federal level to push it across the finish line.”

“This is another good step get this critical project moving, and I am glad to stand together with the rest of the delegation,” said Begich. “This natural gas project is good for Alaska’s economy and will create jobs, not to mention the Alaska LNG Project would provide Alaskans significant state revenue, thousands of high-paying construction and operational jobs, and access to low-cost energy.”

“The Alaska LNG Project is a long time coming, and I’m pleased that a united congressional delegation is working to remove federal barriers to bring our tremendous natural gas resources to market,” said Young. “Projects such as this will encourage Alaska’s prosperity by ensuring well-paying jobs for our citizens and added revenue for our state, all while continuing Alaska’s role in meeting the energy needs of the 21st Century.”

The delegation pointed out that DOE has previously acknowledged that treatment of LNG export applications in Alaska will necessarily differ from lower 48 applications, and that a presidential finding from 1988 stating that exports of LNG from Alaska “will not diminish the total quantity or quality nor increase the total price of energy available to the United States” is valid and applicable to the Alaska LNG Project application.

“We believe that the export authorization sought by the Alaska LNG Project is fully consistent with both the public interest of Alaska and the nation,” the delegation wrote. “As the Alaska Congressional Delegation, we write to request that you approve this application expeditiously.”

The full letter to DOE from the Alaska delegation can be found here

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Delegation Announces Grants and Contracts to Alaska Programs

2014/09/30

The Alaska Congressional Delegation is pleased to announce the following grants and awards:

U.S. Department of Education

  • Rehabilitation Service Projects for American Indians with Disabilities to provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) to those who reside on or near federal or state reservations so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership:

    • $430,440 to the Kodiak Area Native Association

    • $525,423to the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association

    • $421,659 to the Tanana Chiefs Conference

    • $445,516 to the Maniilaq Association

    • $600,000 to the Bristol Bay Native Association


U.S. Department of Justice

  • Community Oriented Police Services hiring program award to create and/or preserve law enforcement jobs:

    • $250,000 to Anchorage Police Department

    • $125,000 to Juneau Police Department

    • $125,000 to Sandpoint Police Department

    • $125,000 to City and Borough of Sitka

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • $297,447.00 to the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island - Tribal Government for tribal court improvement and IVE plan development grants

  • $87,000.00 to the Catholic Social Services, Inc. for refugee school impact grants

  • $200,000.00 to Juneau Youth Services for the implementation of a “Basic Center” program

  • $352,946.00 to the Qutekcak Native Tribe for the Little Steps, Big Journey; early child development center

  • $191,986.00 to the Sitka Tribe of Alaska for the development of a marine biotoxin lab in Sitka, Alaska

  • $370,396.00 to the Maniilaq Association for a pilot project designed to develop highly skilled culturally appropriate family & parenting trainers

  • $43,111.00 to the State of Alaska Depart of Health & Social Services for State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) expansion

  • $1,552,710.00 to the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc. for health professional opportunity grants

  • $736,000.00 to the Southcentral Foundation for mental health and substance abuse services cooperative agreements

  • $734,540.00 to the Tanana Chiefs Conference Inc. for mental health and substance abuse services cooperative agreements

  • $998,046.00 to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation for mental health and substance abuse services cooperative agreements

  • $1,096,303.00 to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for a chronic disease control cooperative agreement

  • $299,050.00 to the Ketchikan Indian Corporation for tribal court improvement and IVE plan development grants

  • $965,342.00 to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for the Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) Program – “Linked Education Project”

  • $692,305.00 to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for the Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) Program – “Linked Undergraduate NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants”

  • $1,305,443.00 to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for the Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) Program – “Linked Specialized Center Cooperative Agreement”

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Indian Community Development Block Grant Program for Indian Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages to develop local communities, including housing, living environment and economic opportunities:

  • $600,000 to the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc

  • $600,000 to the Eklutna Native Village

  • $600,000 to the Gulkana Village

  • $345,919 to the Hughes Village

  • $600,000 to the Metlakatla Housing Authority

  • $170,680 to the Native Village of Akutan

  • $600,000 to the Native Village of Atka

  • $75,000 to the Native Village of Gakona

  • $600,000 to the Native Village of Kongiganak

  • $600,000 to the Native Village of Rugby

  • $40,000 to the Native Village of Tazlina

  • $600,000 to the Northway Village

  • $599,904 to the Organized Village of Kasaan

  • $600,000 to the Pribilof Island Aleut Community of St. Paul Island

  • $339,213 to the Rampart Village

  • Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Tenant Based Voucher to enable homeless veterans and their families to access affordable existing housing of their choice: $118,337 to the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

  • Public Housing Family Self Sufficiency grants to allow public housing agencies to work with local peoples to increase their education in order for them to gain employment: $265,410 to the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

  • Community Compass award to focus on equipping communities with knowledge, skills, tools, capacity, and systems to implement HUD programs and policies successfully: $948,000 to the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities 

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Congressman Young Announces Alaska, Hawai‘i Frontier Legislation to Increase Rural Access to Healthcare

2014/09/25

Washington, D.C. Alaskan Congressman Don Young today joined Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to announce a new piece of bipartisan legislation to ensure the federal government recognizes the unique hardships of providing quality healthcare options in rural areas of Alaska and Hawai’i. The bill, H.R. 5592, would allow Alaska and Hawai‘i to decide which areas of the state should be considered rural and, in turn, eligible for federal grants and programs dedicated to improve healthcare services in rural areas. 

The bill will allow Alaska and Hawai‘i to make their own state-designated Frontier Areas. Currently, the federal government determines the areas based on a statistical model that does not take into account the unique geographical challenges facing both states.

“We face many challenges in Alaska when it comes to accessing healthcare, particularly when it comes to the unique and non-traditional travel required to reach villages and towns that have medical facilities,” said Congressman Young. “Our problems in rural Alaska are too important to ignore and we should not place one-sized fits all restrictions on communities that clearly need our support. The State of Alaska knows best when it comes to understanding our unique geography and our people, and I believe they should be the ones to decide which communities are considered rural. The federal government must understand that.”

“Hawai‘i should be able to determine its own Frontier Areas because the current federal process doesn’t know or serve our communities, therefore negatively impacting the ability of our rural areas to qualify for certain federal assistance,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who met with concerned rural community health leaders last month. “The problem with the federal standards is that it relies on population numbers and physical distances from urban areas without fully recognizing how long it can take to drive from Hāna or how a bad rainstorm can completely shut off Hau‘ula from Honolulu. The federal government cannot rely solely on numbers to understand the reality our island residents face.”

In addition to allowing Alaska and Hawai‘i to use state-approved definitions for “rural” areas, H.R. 5592 would also create another frontier category for other areas facing geographic remoteness that are not adequately reflected by simple distance and population figures.

Full text of the legislation is available here.

 

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Alaska Delegation Pushes FDA to Support U.S. Pollock Fisheries

2014/09/24

Washington, D.C. – Alaska’s Congressional Delegation and their colleagues from Washington State are pushing the Food and Drug Administration to change the market name for pollock and clearly differentiate it from inferior fish harvested in Russia. Supporting a request by the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), the bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote a letter (attached) to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner seeking to change the legal market name from “Alaska pollock” to “pollock” to differentiate American-caught seafood from the 113 million pounds of Russian-harvested pollock bought by Americans in 2012.

Beyond a matter of commercial concern, the lawmakers stressed that the terminology is causing confusion about the origins of the fish, writing “pollock harvested in Alaskan waters is of a higher quality and is managed more sustainably than other pollock, especially Russian pollock.”

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Congressman Don Young explained their reasoning in the letter.  Among their points:

  • The use of “Alaska pollock” as an acceptable market name is misleading to consumers;
  • “Alaska pollock” is understood to suggest a geographic origin, and
  • U.S. government programs support other efforts to provide accurate information and differentiate food products in the marketplace.

“Pollock harvested from Alaskan waters is of the highest quality and taste; it is sustainably managed to ensure that the resource will be there in the future for the fishermen, processors and coastal communities that depend on it,” said Senator Murkowski.  “This Administration should act to counter Russian’s recent actions to harm Alaska’s seafood industry, and the FDA should take action promptly to make it easier for consumers to tell good Alaska pollock from inferior Russian product.”

“Alaska has set the global standard for responsible and sustainable fisheries management and we should not let Russian fishermen capitalize on Alaska’s brand,” said Senator Mark Begich. “Americans shouldn’t be misled by false advertising—we deserve to know where the food on our dinner tables comes from.  The Alaska delegation will continue to work closely together to make sure we protect Alaska’s brand and American consumers from false advertising by Russian fishermen.”    

“This clarification makes a significant difference for our Alaskan Pollock fishery, the 2.5 billion pounds they sustainably harvest each year, and the everyday American consumer,” said Congressman Don Young. “It’s a very simple solution to a 100 million pound problem; otherwise, Russian caught Pollock will continue to be passed off as Alaskan due to a confusing market name.”

 

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Delegation Announces Grants and Contracts to Alaska Programs

2014/09/23

The Alaska Congressional Delegation is pleased to announce the following grants:

U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development

  • $47,325 to Copper Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. for a solar array project.
  • $31,067 to Hub of Alaska, Inc. for a solar array project.
  • $12,500 to the New Caribou Joint Venture for a biomass boiler conversion.
  • $2,500 to SAF Dev, LLC for a solar array project.
  • $49,607 to Superior Pellet Fuels, LLC for a woody biomass log condenser.

 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • $99,448 to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for HIV Capacity Development Planning.
  • $3,000,000 to the Cook Inlet Tribal Council for Partnerships for Success.
  • $100,000 to the University of Alaska Anchorage for Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and Paraprofessionals.
  • $189,660 to the Aleutian Pribilof Island Associations for a Health Center Initiative.
  • $196,106 for the Alaska Island Community Services for health center initiatives.
  • $196,354 to Bethel Family Clinic for health center initiatives.
  • $206,216 to Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation for health center initiatives.
  • $190,302 to Bristol Bay Borough for health center initiatives.
  • $191,376 to the Council of Athabascan Tribal Government for health center initiatives.
  • $192,625 to Cross Road Medical Center for health center initiatives.
  • $196,000 to the Eastern Aleutian Tribes for health center initiatives.
  • $188,872 to Front Street Community Health Center for health center initiatives.
  • $205,520 to Iliuliuk Family and Health Services, Inc. for health center initiatives.
  • $208,672 to Interior Community Health Center for health center initiatives.
  • $187,000 to Kodiak Area Native Association for health center initiatives.
  • $196,142 to Kodiak Island Health Care Foundation for health center initiatives.
  • $192,834 to the Municipality of Skagway for health center initiatives.
  • $207,974 to Norton Sound Health Corporation for health center initiatives.
  • $192,590 to Mat-Su Health Services for health center initiatives.
  • $212,542 to Manillaq Association for health center initiatives.
  • $192,334 to the Native Village of Eyak for health center initiatives.
  • $209,168 to Peninsula Community Health Services of Alaska for health center initiatives.
  • $198,972 to the Seldovia Village Tribe for health center initiatives.
  • $187,000 to the City of Seward for health center initiatives.
  • $190,238 to the Southcentral Foundation for health center initiatives.

 

U.S. Department of Justice

  • $500,000 to the Rural Alaska Community Action Program to reduce Alaska Native youth delinquency rates.
  • $324,970 to the Tribal Government of St. Paul Island Aleut Community to provide intervention, advocacy, accompaniment support services, and related assistance for victims of sexual assault, family and household members of victims, and those collaterally affected by the sexual assault.

U.S. Economic Development Administration

  • $45,000 to Fairbanks Northstar Borough for implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for the region. The CEDS process is designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic development roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy.

U.S Department of Transportation

  • $82,318 to the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Project for Bethel Transit System Bus Shelters.

U.S. General Services Administration

  • $1,076,395 to Tikigaq Construction for Physical Access Control Systems Installation Projects in the Fairbanks Federal Building.

U.S. Department of Energy

  • $10,000,000 to Ahtna Facility Services, Inc. for delivery of environmental remediation and waste management services for Naval Petroleum Reserve.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • $200,809 to University of Fairbanks for antenna installation to obtain new data from satellites for weather forecasting.   

 


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Congressman Young Announces Public Schedule for Remainder of September

2014/09/23

Washington, D.C. Alaska Congressman Don Young today released his public schedule for the remainder of September, which includes visits to the Southeast communities of Ketchikan, Metlakatla, Juneau and Sitka as well as Anchorage for the Chamber of Commerce “Make It Monday” forum.

 

Ketchikan

What:             Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

When:             Wednesday, September 24, 2014; 12 PM

Location:        Cape Fox Lodge, Ketchikan, AK

 

Metlakatla

What:             Metlakatla Indian Community Tribal & City Council Luncheon

When:             Thursday, September 25, 2014; 12:30 PM

Location:        Metlakatla, AK

 

Juneau

What:             Juneau Mercantile and Armory Visit

When:             Friday, September 26, 2014; 1:30 PM

Location:        Juneau, AK

 

Sitka

What:             End of the Season Celebration and Picnic

When:             Saturday, September 27, 2014; 12:00 PM

Location:        Downtown Sitka Centennial Hall, Sitka, AK

 

Anchorage

 What:             Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Make it Monday Forum

When:             Monday, September 29, 2014; 12:00 PM

Location:        Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, Anchorage, AK

 

* All events and times are subject to change.

 

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Contact Information

2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5765
Fax 202-225-0425
donyoung.house.gov

Congressman Don Young was re-elected to the 113th Congress in 2012 to serve his 21st term as Alaska’s only Representative to the United States House of Representatives. First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress after winning a special election on March 6, 1973, Congressman Young is today the 1st ranking Republican member and the the 4th ranking overall member of the House of Representatives.

Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. In the 112th Congress, he was chosen to serve as the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Alaska Native and Indian Affairs.  Rep. Young currently serves as a senior Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Young calls Fort Yukon, Alaska home; a remote village of approximately 700 people located 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s central interior region. Born on June 9, 1933 in Meridian, California, he earned his associate degree at Yuba Junior College in 1952, and his bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College in 1958. Between earning these degrees, he served in the US Army’s 41st Tank Battalion from 1955 to 1957.

When he first moved to Alaska, Congressman Young made a living in construction and tried his hand at commercial fishing, trapping, and in the search for gold. In Fort Yukon he taught in a 25-student, 5th grade elementary class in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Constructed of logs, the school had a wood stove that kept his Alaska Native students warm in the sub-freezing, arctic winter. With the annual spring break-up of the river ice, he captained his own tug and barge operation to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. Even today, he remains the only licensed mariner in Congress.

It was in Fort Yukon that Rep. Young met and married a young bookkeeper named Lu. Lu was always at the Congressman’s side and supported him throughout his public service career. Lu and Don were married for 46 years, they were blessed with and raised two daughters, Joni and Dawn, and 14 grandchildren. Mrs. Young passed away on August 2, 2009.

Congressman Young first entered public service in 1964 when he was elected Mayor of Fort Yukon. Two years later, Alaskan voters elected him to the State Legislature in Juneau where he served in the State House from 1966 to 1970, and later in the State Senate from 1970 to 1973. Just hours after being sworn in to United States House of Representatives in 1973, he found himself leading the historic battle for approval of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Often citing this as the single most important achievement in his career, Congressman Young stated, “Next to statehood itself, the most historical legislation passed that affected every Alaskan then, now, and in the future, was the passage of the pipeline legislation.”

That same year, his colleagues honored him as the “Freshman Congressman of the Year.” He went on to gain a key appointment on the then Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he pushed through the 200-mile fishing limit critical to Alaska’s fishing industry. He fought against federal control of lands and resources to which Alaskans are rightfully entitled – a battle he continues today with the same vigor. In 1997, he passed by a 419-1 vote, the National Wildlife Improvement Act, which sets guidelines for the nation’s 500-plus wildlife refuges.

Congressman Young proudly serves as the “Congressman for All Alaska” and loves his role as the only Alaskan Representative in Congress. Renewed by the challenges and goals of the 111th Congress and his committee positions, Congressman Young will continue to champion legislation and funding for programs benefiting Alaska and the nation. His vision remains the same – to provide citizens with the opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future.


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