Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on the Iran Nuclear Agreement:
“I opposed the Iran Nuclear deal from the onset, in part because it abandoned the strict level of scrutiny needed to prevent Iran’s nuclear ambitions and placed an unprecedented level of trust in a rogue nation that continues to skirt international sanctions while acting as a catalyst for terrorism and violence across the globe,” said Congressman Don Young. “Very simply, this was a bad deal; one that only delayed Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons for a short time. I support the President’s decision to reexamine this flawed deal that is counter to our national security interests.”
(Washington, DC) – Representatives C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Don Young (R-AK), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), and Charlie Crist (D-FL) today introduced bipartisan legislation that will help local and state governments build coastal resiliency along the United States’ 95,000 miles of shoreline.
Geospatial mapping information can be complicated, expensive to collect, and difficult to use without in-house expertise. In the wake of devastating recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the need for spatial data on our coasts is critical to emergency preparedness and response efforts.
The Digital Coast Act will provide coastal communities updated mapping data that can be used to prepare for storms, manage floods, restore ecosystems and plan smarter developments near America’s coasts, harbors, ports and shorelines.
“America’s fragile shorelines are home to more than half of our country’s population and millions of businesses that supply most of our gross domestic product,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Yet current coastal maps and geospatial data are woefully inaccurate, outdated or even nonexistent. The Digital Coast Act will give local planners and managers the high-tech data they need to make accurate decisions and smart investments that could save people and property.”
“No other state in the nation understands the need for coastal resilience and mapping more than Alaska,” said Congressman Don Young. “With more than 44,000 miles of coastline, much of which is not fully mapped, Alaska’s coastal communities rely heavily on our waterways and shipping channels to support all forms of social and economic prosperity: goods from the lower 48, critical transportation needs, search and rescue operations, and the state’s largest private sector employer – our fishing industry. The Digital Coast Act is an important step towards developing a system that supports our coastal communities with up-to-date and reliable information on our coastlines and weather conditions.”
“Pinellas County, which I’m honored to represent, is a peninsula on the peninsula of Florida. Our community’s safety depends on coastal resiliency,” said Representative Crist. “The Digital Coast program provides invaluable data and digital tools to combat increasingly severe storms and rising sea levels which impact tourism and fishing industries – major drivers of our state and local economies. I’m proud to join in introducing this common-sense bill to bolster this critical program to protect people, property, and our economy.”
“In the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Maria, it is more important than ever that we provide communities with the resources they need to prepare for storm surge and encourage smarter development,” Representative Esty said. “The Digital Coast Act will leverage next-generation technologies to make detailed information on weather conditions and coastal regions in danger of flooding available to the local officials tasked with emergency response management, as well as the broader public. This data will give us tools to save lives and protect our families’ and businesses’ property in future storms.”
The bill, H.R. 4062, formally creates the “Digital Coast” program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), allowing it to begin a comprehensive mapping process and make the data available on its website for free and easy public access. NOAA will also train decision-makers at the local and state level on how to use the datasets to answer questions about storm surge, erosion, and water level trends.
This is the sixth time Representatives Ruppersberger and Young have introduced the Digital Coast Act since 2010. They are joined by Representatives Esty and Crist this session of Congress. The companion bill passed with unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate earlier this year.
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on the White House Executive Order “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States:”
“I welcome this decision; a stringent review by our federal agencies to see whether steps can be made to relieve the pain and pressures of a law that have caused so much grief and hardship for hardworking Alaskans and Americans. Any new administration should be reviewing the regulations on its books, particularly in this case, to ensure they are not excessive or overbearing. Without action in the Senate, this is one way to potentially relieve burdens placed on premium payers, expand choices within the marketplace and begin bringing down costs.”
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young, Chairman Emeritus of the House Natural Resources Committee, went back to back to back in hearings today on issues critical to Alaska-based energy and resource development.
H.R. 219, Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary Correction Act (Rep. Don Young):
In a morning hearing by the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands, the panel reviewed legislation introduced by Alaska Congressman Don Young to facilitate the completion of an expanded hydroelectric project supplying wholesale power to the municipal utilities serving the cities of Petersburg, Wrangell, and Ketchikan – communities with a combined population of 19,395 residents.
Trey Acteson, CEO of the Southeast Alaska Power Agency (SEAPA) testifying on behalf of Congressman Young’s legislation (click here to watch)
“We’ve seen great success with hydropower across Southeast Alaska, something that’s brought down costs for our rural residents, allowed for innovation within our communities, and eliminated the reliance on costly diesel fuel,” said Congressman Don Young. “Unfortunately, the federal government can and continues to stand in the way of certain projects moving forward. This legislation, which I proudly worked on with our delegation and Southeast Alaska Power Agency (SEAPA), works to correct an issue created by an incorrect federal map. It guarantees the transfer of the lands from federal to state ownerships that are needed to complete this project and ensure SEAPA can continue meeting the needs of its communities.
H.R. 219, the “Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary Correction Act”, would correct a survey boundary of the Swan Lake Hydro Electric Project in Southeast Alaska and convey 26 acres of U.S. Forest Service land to the State of Alaska for the completion of the project. Young’s legislation is supported by the State of Alaska and has the full support of stakeholders.
Draft Legislation, Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act:
Next, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on a draft bill to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in order to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the outer Continental Shelf to Alaska and certain Atlantic states, limit presidential authority to withdraw areas of the OCS from oil and gas leasing, and overturn an Obama-era rule commonly known as the “Arctic Rule.” This legislation would:
Congressman Young questioning witnesses on the impact of the “Arctic Rule” (click here to watch).
“The Obama Administration’s decision to lock away our waters and restrict access to resources only strengthened our resolve – as a resources oriented state – to overturn the heavy hand of government and empower our people and communities with new social and economic opportunities,” said Congressman Don Young. “This legislation is an important step to restoring Congress’ authority and stopping the Executive from unilaterally eliminating – through overly prescriptive regulatory requirements and 12(a) withdrawals – forms of responsible resource development in Alaska and across the country.”
In addition, the draft legislation establishes an oil and gas revenue sharing structure for Alaska, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Modeled after GOMESA – a 2006 law dictating revenue sharing for Gulf states – this legislation would allow Alaska and the Atlantic states to receive 37.5% of the revenues generated by offshore oil and gas leasing and development.
“This legislation is an important step to establishing a fair and equitable revenue sharing of offshore resources,” said Congressman Don Young. “A proven success for the Gulf States, this bill would provide long overdue revenue sharing for Alaska and other coastal states, and allow local communities from across the nation to benefit from responsible resource development near their shores. In the Arctic, this means necessary funds for the development of new infrastructure, coastal resiliency programs, and social and economic needs of rural Alaska.”
H.R. 3990, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (Rep. Rob Bishop):
To close, the full House Natural Resources Committee convened to consider legislation introduced by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) to restore the original Congressional intent of the 1906 Antiquities Act and modernize the law for the 21st Century. The legislation would also prohibit the creation of Marine National Monuments, an issue Congressman Young has fought since their creation under President George W. Bush and expansion under President Barack Obama. Young has introduced H.R. 1489, the Marine Access and State Transparency Act, to require Congressional approval for future national monuments and national marine monuments.
“For too long, we’ve seen the crippling impacts associated with the monument designation process, all with little to no consultation or support of those that live in or rely upon the areas,” said Congressman Don Young. “I welcome today’s legislation and remain committed to reforming the outdated monument designation process – on land and at sea – from a top down executive mandate to a locally driven, bottom-up approach. Although Alaska is granted very clear protections under ANILCA, we still have significant concern with the Antiquities Act being used to close thousands of acres of oceans. This legislation ends that process and puts control squarely in the hands of Congress.”
Chairman Bishop’s legislation addresses the following:
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on House passage of H.Con. Res. 71, the fiscal year 2018 congressional budget resolution:
“This budget is not everything we wanted, but it’s something we have to have in order to get this country back on track,” said Congressman Don Young. “Otherwise, we can’t move forward on tax reform – vitally important to strengthening the economy, healthcare reform, or efforts to address our nation’s spiraling debt. Those that say otherwise are ignoring the fact that this country is going broke and continues to fail at building new wealth or generating new economic activity. After years of rampant spending and deficits, and dismal GDP growth, I’m hopeful that this Congress and the White House will take these challenges head on. Though imperfect, this budget is an important step to unlocking our nation’s tremendous energy resources within ANWR, reforming frivolous regulations that hinder job creation and growth, and tackling the first major tax reform in over three decades. This is only the beginning of a long process, one that will take many shapes and many forms. I am committed to fighting for Alaskan priorities, listening to my constituents, and bringing our fiscal house in order in a manner that reflect the needs of my state.”
The House-passed budget resolution, which sets government spending for fiscal year 2018 and outlines budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027, includes detailed reconciliation instructions to the House Natural Resources Committee to identify revenues that reduce the deficit by $5 Billion over the next 10 years. Further, the House budget instructions call for “unlocking domestic energy supplies” and allowing “for greater access in areas such as Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Intermountain West”
Alaska Congressman Don Young and others are making concerted efforts to include revenues generated from oil and gas development within the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as a means to reaching those levels. Yesterday, Congressman Young spoke passionately on the House floor on the importance of ending the prohibition against oil and gas development in the Coastal Plain of the ANWR through the budget reconciliation process. Click here to learn more.
Congressman Don Young discussing the importance of opening ANWR through the budget reconciliation process (click here to watch)
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Washington, D.C. – As the U.S. House of Representatives debates the FY2018 congressional budget resolution – H. Con. Res. 71, establishing a budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and outlining budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027 – Alaska Congressman Don Young is once again pushing to end the prohibition against oil and gas development in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) – an area specifically set aside by Congress in 1980 for future development.
Congressman Don Young discussing the importance of opening ANWR through the budget reconciliation process (click here to watch)
Highlight from Congressman Young’s floor speech on the importance of ANWR (for full remarks click here):
Similar to efforts made in the 2005 budget reconciliation process, Congressman Young and others have outlined the critical role oil and gas development in ANWR’s Coastal Plain would serve in achieving significant revenue for the United States government. Included within H. Con. Res. 71, Building a Better America, are clear instructions for the House Natural Resources Committee to “submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $5,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.” Accompanying reports by the House Budget Committee also request the following consideration:
Congressman Young says he’s committed to working with his House and Senate colleagues – in the budget reconciliation process and regular order – to move a comprehensive energy strategy that strengthens opportunities within the NPR-A, creates a stable and reliable regulatory environment, and moves forward on efforts to access and develop our nation’s rich deposits of oil and gas, particularly in ANWR's 10-02.
Young is the sponsor of H.R. 49, legislation that would implement a competitive leasing program for the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas on the Coastal Plain of Alaska. Congressman Young is not only focused on moving this legislation, but pursuing all avenues available to open ANWR’s Coastal Plain to environmentally sustainable oil exploration and development.
Congressman Don Young has led the passage of ANWR related legislation in the House on 12 separate occasions, including through the budget reconciliation process in 1995 (vetoed by President Clinton) and 2005 (defeated in U.S. Senate).
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and U.S. Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that the Pacific walrus will not be designated as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). New data shows that the Pacific walrus has adapted to certain threats, including loss of sea ice, and is not experiencing reductions in population. As a result, USFWS concluded that the population is sustainable and healthy.
“I am pleased with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to not add the Pacific walrus to the endangered or threatened species lists,” Murkowski said. “Their thorough review, driven by the best available data and science, found that the population of Pacific walrus is robust and healthy, and has proven that it can adapt to the changing conditions in the Arctic. This decision will allow for the continued responsible harvest of Pacific walrus for subsistence and traditional uses by Alaska Natives.”
“I welcome the USFWS’s determination to manage wildlife through measurable and scientific methods. Responsibly harvesting and utilizing Pacific walrus is a traditional and vital subsistence activity for Alaska Natives,” Sullivan said. “This sound determination from the Service will ensure that these resources can continue to be accessed and managed in the future.”
“I welcome this action by the USFWS, a decision that recognizes the health and stability of Alaska's walrus population and ignores the extreme political pressures often associated with new Endangered Species Act listings,” Young said. “There are often numerous unintended consequences associated with new ESA designations, including those that undermine stewardship done at the state, local and tribal level and ignore the needs and firsthand knowledge of local communities. We've seen it before, where field-tested and empirical data was ignored in favor of the environmentalist agenda to limit resource development in Alaska. I'm glad to see that didn't happen this time.”
Last week, the Alaska delegation sent a letter to the Acting Director of the USFWS, Greg Sheehan, requesting that the Pacific walrus not be added to the endangered or threatened species lists. In 2008, a petition was filed with USFWS to consider listing the Pacific walrus as endangered or threatened, and it has been a candidate for protection under the ESA since 2011.
The Alaska State Department of Fish and Game played a critical role in ensuring the sustainable health of the species. The Pacific walrus will continue to receive protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Alaska Natives will still be able to harvest Pacific walrus for subsistence uses.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 210, the Native American Energy Act, legislation sponsored by Alaska Congressman Don Young that addresses the federal government’s over-regulation of Indian lands and promotes energy development by Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.
The House Committee on Natural Resources considering H.R. 210, the Native American Energy Act. Click here to watch Congressman Don Young speak on behalf of his legislation.
“The Native American Energy Act is critically important to Alaska Natives and American Indians because it levels the playing field for responsible resource development, an essential step towards self-determination,” said Congressman Don Young. “The bill contains a number of policy improvements to reduce the hurdles and obstacles for energy and resource development imposed by the federal government, while empowering Native communities to better manage and develop their lands. This legislation contains important permitting and Judicial review provisions for tribes and Alaska Native Corporations that work to eliminate attacks by outside special interest groups. Overall, this bill is based on the principle that Native communities, not the federal government or special interests, are the best stewards of Native lands. I’m encouraged by the strong support my legislation has received from tribes and Native organizations throughout the country and thank Chairman Bishop for making this issue a top priority.”
“This bill turns the page on the federal government’s culture of paternalism and empowers Indian tribes and Alaska Natives to develop their own natural resources. Thankfully, as this bill moves through the legislative process, less time will need to be spent educating the executive branch on the virtues of responsible energy development, and more can be spent finalizing this package with the Senate. I thank Rep. Don Young for his continued leadership on this issue and look forward advancing this bill through the House and to the President’s desk.” House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) stated.
H.R. 210 works to resolve longstanding resource and economic development issues for tribes, which have regularly encountered obstacles not found on private or state lands. By developing this legislation to streamline and standardize duplicative federal processes, deter frivolous lawsuits and prevent exorbitant federal permitting costs on Native lands, Young hopes to increase opportunity for Native communities to govern more aspects of energy development on their lands.
Beyond the many provisions that assist lower 48 tribes, this legislation contains important Judicial review provisions for both tribes and Alaska Native Corporations that work to eliminate attacks by outside special interest groups. Overall, this bill is based on the principle that Native communities, not the federal government or special interests, are the best stewards of their lands.
The federal government currently holds roughly 56 million acres of land into trust for the benefit of Indians. There are also 44 million acres of lands owned in fee by Alaska Native Corporations. These lands are estimated to hold more than 10% of the nation’s energy potential, yet tribes are far behind non-Indian landowners in terms of producing energy from their lands.
The bill incorporates various policy improvements that Alaska Native and American Indian leaders have brought to the attention of the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs in previous hearings and consultations.
Last Congress, this legislation passed the House with bipartisan support and was included as an amendment to the Senate energy bill, S. 2012, the “North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016,” and for consideration as part of the Energy Conference Committee.
Congressman Don Young Shares a Message with E-newsletter Subscribers (click here to watch).
Thank you once again for being part of this important email newsletter – an effort by me and my team to stay in touch, engage with Alaskans from across all corners of our state, and keep you informed on the many issues before Congress. As you may know, we’ve seen a number of important successes for Alaska in the U.S. House this year, including the passage of four Alaska-focused bills.
This week, we saw the introduction of framework to update our nation’s aging tax code – a plan I believe has significant merit. Last time we tackled tax reform was 31 years ago under President Ronald Regan – legislation I voted for. Sadly, in that time we’ve seen a lot of changes and a massive growth in our tax code – much of which penalizes hardworking Americans and discourages economic growth. I believe we have to address this nonsense and work toward real, commonsense tax reform – reforms that help everyday Americans and small business owners. I’m pleased to see that this tax outline focuses on growth, allowing our middle class to keep more of their hard earned dollars; it broadens the base, and will bring jobs back to our soil.
Elsewhere, we saw efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare put on hold in the Senate. As you know, we passed efforts to repeal the ACA out of the House in May – a decision based on a fundamental belief that continuing these efforts in the Senate was far better than keeping the destructive policies of Obamacare. Overall, I still believe something must be done to address the downward spiral of Obamacare. It simply does not work, contrary to what some people may say. It continues to penalize young people and families in Alaska, especially small business owners. There are a lot of things I believe can be done in the area of healthcare, including addressing the costs of drugs and insurance overall. I know the Senate will be revisiting the issue of healthcare and I’m committed to remaining engaged on these important issues.
In Committee, this week we had a hearing on the national fisheries policy – specifically my legislation (H.R. 200) to update and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Just as we did in 2006 – the most recent MSA reauthorization – Congress is working to ensure this law keeps pace with changes in our industry and that the Act is being implemented as intended by Congress. My legislation, which closely reflects our work in the 114th Congress, works to strengthen the MSA by giving our nation’s regional fisheries councils the added flexibility they need. As a father of the original 1976 legislation, my goal is to reauthorize the MSA with a focus on maintaining the species; ensuring they’re healthy, can sustain themselves and can continue to support coastal communities that rely on these fisheries.
As I said, it’s been a positive year in Congress so far – even in the face of certain setbacks. There is still much work to be done and I am fighting to ensure Alaska’s many priorities are reflected throughout our collective agenda. Thank you again for being part of this newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you throughout my travels.God Bless,
Washington, D.C. – Today, Chairman Emeritus Don Young chaired a House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans legislative hearing on four fisheries-related bills, including legislation he’s sponsored to update and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA).
Alaska Congressman Don Young Chairing a House Subcommittee Panel on Fisheries-related Legislation
“As Alaska’s fisheries continue to flourish, there ultimately comes a time when our laws — even those that are working well — must be reviewed and updated,” said Congressman Don Young. “Just as we did in 2006 – the most recent MSA reauthorization – Congress must work to ensure this law keeps pace with changes in our industry and that the Act is being implemented as intended by Congress. After more than four years of reviewing the MSA, I am honored to once again be leading this fight.”
Since the last reauthorization, fishermen’s access has been eroded by federal agencies that ignore public input and rely upon outdated science in management decisions. In many cases, existing implementation of the law has resulted in negative impacts to local economies and a greater regulatory burden on recreational and commercial fishermen. Young’s legislation, H.R. 200, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, would provide a number of modest but necessary updates to the MSA, including efforts to: increase flexibility and transparency for fisheries managers; authorize the use of electronic monitoring for data collection, research and compliance; and create predictability and certainty for those coastal communities that are dependent on stable fishing activities.
Congressman Don Young discussing the importance of moving H.R. 200, legislation he’s introduced to reauthorize the MSA (click here to view)
“My bill, which closely reflects our work in the 114th Congress, works to strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act by giving our nation’s regional fisheries councils the added flexibility they need,” Young said. “As a father of the original 1976 legislation, my goal is to reauthorize the MSA with a focus on maintaining the species; ensuring they’re healthy, can sustain themselves and can continue to support coastal communities that rely on these fisheries. Ted Stevens and I worked for years to develop and strengthen a law that has allowed our state to build the strongest and most sustainable fisheries in the world. Just as two Alaskans worked across the aisle and across the Capitol before, I look forward to working alongside my friend Senator Dan Sullivan, Chair of the Senate Fisheries Subcommittee, on the laws governing commercial and recreation fishing in U.S. waters.”
Congressman Young closed the hearing by commenting on the broader efforts to move H.R. 200 in the 115th Congress, saying he hopes to see action in the coming months.
“I want to thank the panel for your kind attention and giving us good testimony. Remember my requests. We are going to use the vehicle of H.R. 200," said Congressman Young. "I’m going to be working with Mr. Huffman and we’re going to see if we can come to some conclusion of reauthorizing and making the bill better. But the basic skeleton of the MSA is going to retain its original concepts….If there’s some improvements we’ll gladly try to address those. I will warn everybody, this is not a vehicle to promote other activities outside of the conservation, sustainable yield, community support for fisheries. We’ll be working together… We’re going to try and get something moving by October or November of this year.”
The Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans also discussed two bills from Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), H.R. 2023, the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017,” and H.R. 3588, the “RED SNAPPER Act,” which looked more closely at systemic issues facing recreational fishers and more specifically red snapper management.
“It is my hope that we can use these bills in front of us today to produce a strong, bipartisan Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization that supports jobs and our fishermen by strengthening the science, data, and process used in federal fisheries management,” Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said.
Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), conveyed the administration’s support for the added flexibility for innovative, regional management plans.
“NOAA Fisheries stands ready to work with the Congress to craft a reauthorization bill that addresses current fishery management challenges and ensures the Nation’s fisheries are able to meet the needs of both current and future generations,” Oliver stated.
For more information on H.R. 200, click here.
For more information on today’s hearing, including full witness testimony, click here.
2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
Proud to sponsor the Digital Coast Act, a step to help local and state governments build coastal resiliency… https://t.co/CFlc9wpo4A
All-of-the-Above Approach in Natural Resources Cttee today -- 3 hearings on AK Hydro, Arctic OCS & Antiquities Act https://t.co/4kyFFuNbvJ
Pushing to open ANWR through budget reconciliation. The time is now - to address our debt, create new wealth & jobs… https://t.co/8y952DH2AR