Donald Young

Donald Young


Representatives Young and Bonamici Introduce Legislation to Improve Ocean Data Collection


Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Don Young (AK-At Large) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan House Oceans Caucus, introduced the Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System (ICOOS) Act — legislation to improve data collection and information sharing between the federal agencies and coastal observation partners dedicated to monitoring oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes.

“Our integrated Ocean Observation System helps make maritime commerce possible,” said Congressman Don Young. “Equipping our fishermen and ship captains with the best possible data is essential to making our waters safer and more navigable. Accurate data collection is also critical to maritime search and rescue operations, the health of fisheries, and the mitigation of coastal hazards. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Bonamici on future Oceans Caucus priorities and urge my friends on both sides of the aisle to cosponsor this legislation.”

“Our coastal communities rely on accurate ocean data and monitoring for information on ocean acidification, harmful algal bloom and hypoxia forecasting, tsunami preparedness, navigation, and port security,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “This bill will allow the Integrated Ocean Observing System to strengthen its work using satellites, buoys, underwater gliders, and tide gauges to deliver accurate and continuous data on our oceans and coasts. As Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus, I look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Young on bipartisan legislation that benefits coastal communities and our oceans.”

"Ocean observations provide the fundamental information we need to address issues such as safe transportation in our harbors and an ice-free Arctic, understand and mitigate the impact of ocean acidification, and to detect changes in sea levels, weather patterns and fisheries in response to a changing ocean,” said Molly McCammon, Director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System. Through federal and regional partnerships, the Integrated Ocean Observing Systems provides critical information for all regions of our country and make that data readily available to a variety of users. It is our eyes on the coast."

The bill would reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act through Fiscal Year 2024. The eleven regional association networks of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) work with regional partners to develop, operate, and maintain more than 300 observing assets that collect oceanographic and coastal data, including information about rising sea levels, coastal flooding, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia.

The bipartisan House Oceans Caucus is committed to taking action to protect the health and future of our oceans. This Congress, the Caucus is focused on environmental stressors (including ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia); marine debris; ocean data and monitoring; coastal resiliency; and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.


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Congressman Young Leads Bipartisan Legislation to Create Opportunities for Young People in the Fishing Industry


Washington, D.C.  –  Today, Representatives Don Young (AK-At Large) and Jared Golden (ME-02), along with original cosponsors Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-06) and Aumua Amata (American Samoa), introduced H.R. 1240, the Young Fishermen’s Development Act – legislation to address the longtime decline in younger Americans entering the commercial fishing industry. This legislation would create the first ever national grant program through the Department of Commerce to support training, education, and workplace development for the nation’s next generation of commercial fishermen.

“Young commercial fishermen are facing bigger challenges than ever before – new barriers to entry, limited training opportunities, and a lack of support,” said Congressman Don Young. “Fishing is important not only to Alaskan culture, but it is central to our rich history. Our legislation is about supporting the livelihoods of fishing communities across the nation by making the next generation aware of the opportunities available in the commercial fishing industry. I’m proud to stand with our young fishermen by introducing this important piece of legislation.”

“Young Mainers need opportunities for good-paying jobs that stay here in Maine,” said Congressman Golden. “Preparing them to enter our fishing industry is just common sense. Our bill provides training and resources to Maine’s next generation of commercial fishermen, helping them get their sea legs and support our coastal economies. I’m focused on supporting Maine’s heritage industries and bringing good-paying jobs to communities across our state.”

Congressman Young introduced the Young Fishermen’s Development Act with Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) to create a competitive grant program – modeled closely after the successful Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program – that provides meaningful resources for younger generations of Americans entering and progressing in the fishing industry. Congressmen Young and Golden are pleased to be joined by original cosponsors Congresswoman Aumua Amata (American Samoa) and Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06).

"Fishing is one of the oldest jobs there is, but the industry is changing rapidly with the evolution of our economy,” said Representative Seth Moulton. “Congress needs to step up so a new generation of Americans in Gloucester and in communities across the country can access the skills and technology they need to succeed as commercial fishermen. I’m grateful to Representatives Young and Golden for their collaboration on this bill and in broader efforts to support the sustainable commercial fishing industry and the communities where fishing isn't just a job but a way of life.”

“Fishing is the lifeblood of the American Samoan economy. This program will ensure that our young fishermen are equipped and prepared for the highly dynamic 21st century world,” said Congresswoman Aumua Amata (American Samoa). I want to thank Dean of the House, Don Young for his tireless championing of American fishing.”

The legislation would authorize up to $200,000 in competitive grants through NOAA’s Sea Grant Program to support new and established local and regional training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for young fishermen. These programs, workshops and services include: seamanship, navigation, electronics, and safety; vessel and engine care, maintenance, and repair; innovative conservation fishing gear engineering and technology; entrepreneurship and good business practices; direct marketing, supply chain, and traceability; financial and risk management, including vessel, permit, and quota purchasing.

“Young fishermen face a host of challenges when entering our nation’s fisheries these days — they need to be smart business people, savvy about hydraulics, electronics and diesel mechanics, well-schooled in management regulations, tuned in to marketing opportunities — and, of course, they need to know how to catch and take care of fish,” said Linda Behnken, Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association. “There is currently no federal program in place to support education and training for our nation’s young fishermen. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act will change that. We thank Congressman Young for his hard work shepherding this important legislation through Congress.”


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Young, Bonamici, Pingree, Posey Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Address Health of Oceans and Estuaries


WASHINGTON, DC  – Today Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced the bipartisan Coastal and Ocean Acidification Stressors and Threats (COAST) Research Act.

The COAST Research Act will strengthen federal investments in research and monitoring of changing ocean conditions. This research will help coastal communities better understand and cope with the effects of environmental stressors on our oceans and estuaries.

About one third of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean, causing water chemistry to change. Changing ocean conditions affect the more than 3 million blue economy jobs in the United States that rely on the ocean. These jobs contribute at least $352 billion to the economy every year.

“Healthy oceans and waterways are essential to maintaining strong coastal communities and providing for a robust marine economy,” said Congressman Don Young. “Ocean acidification is an ongoing threat that must be tackled head-on if we are to ensure a bright economic future for Alaskans whose jobs depend on healthy oceans. Our legislation makes critical investments to assist scientists in their understanding of ocean acidification and equips our coastal communities with the tools necessary to mitigate its devastating effects. I am grateful to Congresswoman Bonamici for her leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with the rest of the bipartisan Oceans Caucus on other matters affecting our oceans.”

“Our oceans and estuaries face immediate threats from increasing carbon emissions,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “As oceans and estuaries absorb carbon dioxide produced by human activity, the waters become more acidic, destabilizing fisheries and threatening the future of coastal communities and ecosystems. The COAST Research Act will help strengthen research to better understand coastal and ocean acidification and give communities the tools they need to adapt and mitigate.”

“Rising sea levels and warming ocean waters are already starting to wreak havoc on Maine’s coastal communities, but they aren’t the only effects of carbon emissions we are dealing with. Ocean acidification's effects on shellfish species threaten valuable fisheries that the Maine economy relies on,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “We must bring more attention to this issue and strengthen research into ocean acidification—our communities need answers and tools to cope with the problem.”

“Because estuaries are places where fresh water mixes with salt water from the oceans, preserving the delicate balance of nature is necessary but can also be challenging,” said Congressman Bill Posey. “This important legislation will help better protect our estuaries and coastal communities by ensuring that we continue to study and monitor the effects of ocean acidification.” 

The COAST Research Act reauthorizes the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) through 2023. The authorization for this important funding lapsed in 2012. The legislation would:

  • Strengthen investment in research and monitoring of acidification on oceans and estuaries;
  • Increase our understanding of the economic effects of ocean acidification and coastal acidification in estuaries;
  • Engage stakeholders, including the commercial fishing industry, researchers, and community leaders through an Advisory Board;
  • Provide for the long-term stewardship and standardization of data on ocean acidification from different sources, including the National Centers for Environmental Information and the Integrated Ocean Observing System; and
  • Recognize the effects of ocean acidification on estuaries as well as oceans.

You can find a copy of the bill text here and a summary here.

The bill has been endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, IOOS Association, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems. In addition, Bonamici crafted the legislation with input from Ocean Conservancy, Restore America’s Estuaries, researchers at Oregon State University, Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia, and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership.

Bonamici and Young co-chair the House Oceans Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members committed to taking action to protect the health and future of our oceans. This Congress, the Caucus is focused on environmental stressors (including ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia); marine debris; ocean data and monitoring; coastal resiliency; and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Bonamici and Posey serve as two of the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Estuary Caucus. The Caucus works to restore our nation’s estuaries and protect the species that reside in them.


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Congressmen Young and Gonzalez Re-Introduce the Repatriate Our Patriots Act


WASHINGTON – Congressmen Don Young (AK-At Large) and Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) have reintroduced the Repatriate Our Patriots Act (H.R. 1078), bipartisan legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for deported veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

“If you are willing to put your life on the line to defend this great nation and its values, you should be able to become a U.S. citizen,” said Congressman Young. “It is inexcusable that service members who risked it all to protect us would be put through the deportation process. We must do all we can to help this bill become law so that our service members and veterans are able to return to the nation they were willing to fight and die for.”

“These veterans served their countries, and in return, we turned our backs on them,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “In December of 2018, deported U.S. Army veteran, Carlos Jaime Torres returned home, but did so in death. He passed away in Reynosa, Mexico – across the river from his home in McAllen, Texas. We reintroduce this bill for Carlos Torres, for the thousands of deported veterans around the world like him, and to prevent this inexcusable practice from happening again. We must repatriate our patriots.”

The bill would allow deported veterans who were honorably discharged or released to go through the naturalization process abroad. This excludes those who have been convicted of crimes such as voluntary manslaughter, murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, child abuse, and/or terrorism.

Many of these honorably discharged veterans are highly decorated and all had clean records prior to serving. At the same time, many suffer from PTSD and other combat injuries incurred as a result of their service to the nation.

The legislation would have the Attorney General cancel or rescind a removal order that affects any eligible veteran, and subsequently change his or her status to legal permanent resident.

It would also require the Secretary of Homeland Security to create a program and application procedure to allow veterans, who are eligible and were removed prior to the bill’s enactment, to return to the U.S. as a lawfully admitted permanent resident.

Veterans who meet the bill’s requirements would also regain access to all military and veteran’s benefits. Finally, the bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to identify and maintain records of immigration cases involving qualifying veterans.


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Young and McCollum Lead Legislation to Provide Stable Federal Funding that Supports Trust and Treaty Obligations to Tribal Nations


WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-MN) introduced a pair of bipartisan bills in the House of Representatives to authorize advance appropriations for essential tribal services funded by the federal government. Providing federal funds for these programs a full year in advance will ensure that the nation can better meet its commitment to uphold trust and treaty responsibilities throughout Indian Country.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) fund many critical public services within tribal nations, including hospitals, schools, law enforcement, child welfare programs, and more. The recent partial government shutdown, which affected IHS and BIA, put the health and safety of tribal communities at risk. Native Americans were disproportionately harmed by the lapse of appropriations because of the breadth of services that experienced a lapse in funding. If advance appropriations were enacted for BIA and IHS, it would provide tribal nations with a stable budget to fulfill the federal trust obligations within those agencies.   

The two bipartisan bills introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives ensure advance funding is in place to reduce the significant harm and hardship any future shutdown would cause for Native communities. Congresswoman McCollum’s Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act (IPAAA) authorizes advance appropriations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, including the Bureau of Indian Education and the Indian Health Service. Congressman Young’s Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act of 2019 provides advance appropriations authority for the Indian Health Service. Both bills include advance funding for contract support costs to provide certainty for tribal nations who operate IHS or BIA programs under self-governance contracts and compacts.

Representatives McCollum and Young are joined in the sponsorship of both bills by the bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK, Chickasaw Nation) and Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM, Pueblo of Laguna).

“Alaska Native and American Indian communities have historically been shortchanged when it comes to receiving high-quality health care to meet their unique needs,” said Congressman Young. “The goal of these bills is simple: enable Congress to appropriate funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) one fiscal year in advance.  Advance appropriations has already proven to be successful at the VA. Chronic appropriations delays, piecemeal funding bills, and government shutdowns have hampered the ability of IHS, BIA, and BIE to deliver the health care and services our first peoples rely on. It is up to Congress to uphold the federal trust relationship with Native populations across the country, and I encourage my friends on both sides of the aisle to cosponsor this important legislation. I appreciate the efforts of my fellow members of the Native American Caucus in support of both bills.”

“During the government shutdown, basic everyday needs like health clinics, tribal justice services, and social services for children, families, and seniors went unfunded, putting Native American communities at risk,” said Representative McCollum. “These programs are critical to life, health, and safety in these communities, and the federal government has a legal and moral responsibility to ensure funding for our trust and treaty responsibilities is not interrupted. Advance appropriations for Indian Country is a promising avenue for making good on our commitments to our Native American brothers and sisters.”

“During the recent partial government shutdown, I was very concerned by the disruption in the federal services extended to tribal nations,” said Congressman Cole. “Considering that these benefits fulfill promises made through numerous trust and treaty obligations, it is unacceptable for Native Americans to suffer due to political disagreements. I am proud to join with colleagues in cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that will protect tribal nations in the future.”

A counterpart to the Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act (IPAAA) was introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) in the U.S. Senate.


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Congressman Don Young Supports Passage of Legislation Expanding Child Care Access for Veterans


Washington, D.C. – Today, with the support of Alaska’s Congressman Don Young, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 480, the Veterans Access to Child Care Act. This legislation requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide child care assistance to eligible veterans receiving mental health care services at a VA facility.

“Our nation’s warriors put their lives on the line to protect us, and sadly, too many of these heroes return home with the mental scars of war,” said Congressman Don Young. “Finding childcare can become a roadblock to pursuing the mental health care services veterans may need to heal. I am pleased to support this legislation to expand child care access to our veterans, and I will keep working hard to ensure our veterans have the tools necessary for healing.”

Background: As part of a pilot program created in 2010, the VA has provided child care assistance to veterans seeking health treatment at a limited number of VA facilities. H.R. 480 makes this pilot program permanent and expands it nationwide. This legislation is supported by the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).


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Reps. Young and Price Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Support, Improve, and Expand Critical Foreign Language Programs


WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congressman David Price (D-NC) introduced the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act, legislation that would establish, improve, and expand innovative world language programs in our nation’s elementary and secondary schools. The future national security and economic well-being of the United States relies on student access and participation in quality, comprehensive foreign language education programs. Multiple GAO reports have highlighted shortfalls in critical language and cultural skills in the U.S. military and intelligence community, underscoring that our nation’s language deficit could threaten our priorities and missions around the globe.

The World Language Advancement and Readiness Act (WLARA) would direct the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Education, to authorize three-year competitive grants to support local and state education agencies in establishing, improving, or expanding innovative programs in world language learning.

“We should be doing all we can to ensure that America’s students are equipped to become leaders in business and civic life,” said Congressman Don Young. “Therefore, I am proud to introduce the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act with my good friend from across the aisle, Congressman David Price. Our bill helps America keep pace with other developed nations by providing the language education our students need to secure good jobs, achieve success in global marketplaces, and successfully navigate multi-lingual business environments. The legislation also helps build a pipeline for growing experts in languages that are critical to our national defense. I am grateful to Congressman Price for joining me in this important initiative, and I urge my colleagues to help us boost our national defense and global competitiveness by cosponsoring this legislation.”

“The United States can no longer afford to neglect our deficiencies in foreign language and international education, which limit our economic and national security competitiveness,” said Congressman Price. “I’m pleased to introduce this bill with Rep. Young to give schools and students the resources they need to communicate and collaborate on the world stage and prepare the next generation of leaders to solve the international challenges that lie ahead.”

The World Language Advancement and Readiness Act is being introduced with the following original cosponsors: Reps. Moulton (D-MA), Ruppersberger (D-MD), Serrano (D-NY), Cole (R-OK), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Titus (D-NV), Himes (D-CT), Espaillat (D-NY), DeFazio (D-OR), Moore (D-WI), Kind (D-WI), Gallego (D-AZ), Langevin (D-RI), and Lofgren (D-CA). Additionally, WLARA is supported by leading international education and foreign language advocacy organizations, including the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL-NCLIS) and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

“The World Language Advancement and Readiness Act is an important step towards a real pipeline of bilingual and biliterate young Americans, who will improve our national security and foster economic growth with their language skills,” said Bill Rivers, the Executive Director of Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL-NCLIS). “The National Council for Languages and International Studies supports this Act wholeheartedly and commends Representatives Price and Young for their commitment to America’s Languages.”

“As an organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction, ACTFL is thankful for the leadership of Representatives Price and Young as they seek to increase America’s language capacity now and into the future,” said Howie Berman, Executive Director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). “Passage of the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act (WLARA) would send a clear message that language education plays a critical role in our country’s economic and national security in an increasingly interdependent world.”

The full text of the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act can be found here.


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Congressman Don Young Responds to the 2019 State of the Union Address


Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young released the following statement in response to President Trump’s second State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress:

“Tonight, President Trump laid out a unifying vision for a stronger America. The President has been a powerful partner for Alaskans, and I am proud that he highlighted many of our important victories in his speech tonight. Nothing unites America more than a flatter, fairer tax code. The State of our Union is strong because our economy is booming. Our new tax code empowers families and entrepreneurs – in Alaska and beyond – to pursue their financial dreams and business goals. I am pleased the President also addressed Natural Resources and energy development, as our new tax law has finally allowed Alaskans the right to develop energy resources on their lands as they see fit.

It is no secret that our Nation’s infrastructure is crumbling. If there is one area where Republicans and Democrats should be able to agree, it should be on rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and ports. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am grateful to President Trump for recognizing this urgent issue in his address tonight. I stand ready to work with the President and my friends across the aisle to help deliver new and strengthened infrastructure to Alaska and the rest of our country.

I am pleased that President Trump made a powerful case for securing our borders and reforming the immigration system once and for all, and it is long past time for Congress to act. No side will get 100% of what they want, but as the deadline to prevent another government shutdown gets closer, I respectfully urge my Democratic colleagues to come to the table and negotiate in good faith. We must come to an agreement that funds border security – including barriers where necessary, establishes a resolution for DACA recipients, and respects the rule of law.

President Trump spoke before Congress tonight to unify our divided country. It is my hope that his ambitious agenda will set this Congress on a path to achieve great victories for America – not for Republicans or Democrats alone. In the last century, America defeated evil in Europe and put a man on the moon. If we work together this century, we can make our communities safer, families stronger, and our country more prosperous than ever before. 

Click here to watch Congressman Young's reaction to the State of the Union Address.


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Rep. Don Young Announces Subcommittee and Caucus Assignments for the 116th Congress


Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young, former Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, was named Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands for the 116th Congress. Additionally, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop announced Congressman Young’s assignment to the Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples.

“Public lands are central to our Alaskan economy, culture, and way of life.” said Congressman Young. “Since I arrived in Washington, I’ve faithfully served on the Natural Resources Committee in its various iterations. I am excited for this opportunity to keep up the fight for Alaska as Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. The Federal Government controls much of Alaska’s land, and this subcommittee’s work is central to securing Alaska’s right to protect and manage our precious lands as we see fit.”

“Alaska is shaped by the rich culture of our Native communities,” said Congressman Young. “I am grateful to Ranking Republican Rob Bishop for allowing me the chance to serve on the Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples. We have our work cut out for us, but I will use my position to continue promoting an agenda that empowers our Native communities, expands opportunities on Native land, and upholds the federal trust relationship with Alaska Natives and American Indians across the country.”

Tom Cole (R-OK) and Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) – co-chairs of the Native American Caucus – announced that Congressman Young will serve as a Vice Chair of the Native American Caucus for the 116th Congress. The mission of the Native American Caucus is to educate Members of Congress and create bipartisan dialogue surrounding issues of importance to Native Americans and tribal communities. Congressman Young’s role as Vice Chair comes in addition to his existing Co-Chairmanships of the House Oceans Caucus and the Wild Salmon Caucus.

“It has always been one of my highest priorities in Congress to pursue a legislative agenda that promotes economic growth, improves healthcare, and fights poverty in our Native communities,” said Congressman Young. “I am greatly looking forward to serving as Vice Chair of the Native American Caucus and participating in discussions on how best to support our first peoples. I am grateful to my colleagues on the Native American Caucus for electing me to serve as Vice Chair.”


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ICYMI: Representatives Young and Lowenthal Reintroduce Bipartisan WILD Act to Protect Threatened Species and Habitats


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Don Young (AK-At Large) and Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today re-introduced the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act, a bipartisan bill containing measures to conserve threatened wildlife and wild places around the world.

The WILD Act reauthorizes the Multinational Species Conservation Fund (MSCF), a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program that provides a crucial source of funding for species conservation efforts in several priority regions. They include dedicated funds for rhinos and tigers, great apes, marine turtles, African elephants, and Asian elephants.

“I am proud to once again co-lead this bipartisan effort to protect vulnerable species and habitats,” Congressman Young said. “As an avid sportsman, I understand and appreciate the need to conserve and support the growth, health, and diversity of wildlife populations. I look forward to working with Congressman Lowenthal and my other colleagues on the House Natural Resources Committee to advance this important legislation.”

The WILD Act would also expand the Marine Turtle Conservation Act grant program to include tortoises and freshwater turtles, establishing a new source of funding for these priority species. About 60 percent of the 330 modern species are listed as threatened, endangered or are already extinct according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Habitat loss — particularly the loss of wetlands — and the unsustainable trade of tortoises and freshwater turtles as pets and food continue to be leading causes of population declines worldwide.

The bill includes a newly created Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize, a concept that will encourage innovation in wildlife conservation, combating wildlife trafficking and poaching, and other areas.

“I’m pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will preserve wildlife and promote innovative methods for conservation and invasive species eradication,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “We can all agree that conservation should be a priority both now and, in the future. The WILD Act will help strengthen partnerships that are critical to the conservation of some of the world’s most threatened species and will support the development of technologies to protect our native wildlife from some of the most threatening invasive species here at home.”

Cristián Samper, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said, “The need for conservation support remains great, and we appreciate the sponsors of the WILD Act for their leadership. Elephant populations are plummeting due to ivory trafficking, great ape populations are being decimated due to habitat destruction and the bushmeat trade, and tigers currently occupy only seven percent of their historical range. Marine turtle species and rhinos continue to be poached and traded to the brink of extinction, and freshwater turtles and tortoises are in danger as well. I hope Congress will quickly take up and pass this bipartisan bill.”

President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Carter Roberts, added, “The WILD Act will advance the cause of wildlife conservation, both in the United States and around the world. This bipartisan bill will catalyze innovative solutions to combat wildlife trafficking and improve wildlife management. And it reauthorizes critical U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs that help developing countries protect their wildlife while creating economic opportunities around conservation. The Senate unanimously approved the WILD Act in 2017, and we encourage the House to move quickly to advance this important legislation and score an early win for wildlife in the 116th Congress.”

A Senate companion bill to the House bill was also introduced today by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (WY) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (DE).

To read the full text of the House bill, click here.


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Meeting with Sebastian Donoso, Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs within the Government of Chile Read More


Meeting with Benjamin Tucker of the Yakima Nation Read More


Meeting with 33 Close-Up students from Chugiak High School, East High School, Stellar High School, South Anchorage High School and Yukon Koyukuk Scools Read More


Meeting with Jackie Johnson, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians Read More


Meeting with John Katz of the Alaska Governor's Office Read More


House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on "American Energy Initiative" with both Senators testifying Read More


Meeting with Haines Borough Mayor Jan Hill Read More


Meeting with Dalton Riser, Student Wasilla Read More


Meeting with Mallory Givens, UAA Student Read More


Meeting with Sheri Buretta, Ed Herndon and Trudi Komakhuk Read More

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Congressman Don Young's 2019 State of the Union Reaction

2019-02-06 04:00:45

SEARHC Land Transfer Legislation

2018-12-11 19:57:47

Congressman Young Speaks in Support of Tribal Energy Development Legislation

2018-12-10 23:43:09

Congressman Young Speaks in Support of "Save Our Seas Act" on the House FLoor

2018-07-25 21:50:40

Congressman Don Young visits with C-SPAN for "Alaska Weekend" Program

2018-07-25 17:31:16

Congressman Young offers Placer Mining Amendment to FY19 Interior Appropriations Bill

2018-07-19 17:12:01

Congressman Young offers Amendment to FY19 Financial Services Bill

2018-07-19 16:34:18

Congressman Young Speaks in Support of POWER Act

2018-07-17 22:47:32

H.R. 200 Opening Floor Remarks

2018-07-11 22:18:15

Congressman Young Passes "Save Our Seas Act" out of House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

2018-06-27 17:06:46

Congressman Young Passes HR 221 to Improve Hydrographic Surveying

2018-06-25 22:50:40

Congressman Young Secures Amendment to 2018 Water Resources Development Act of 2018

2018-06-07 01:20:24

The Legacy of Sadako

2018-05-30 20:23:05

Congressman Young supports FY19 NDAA

2018-05-24 21:40:28

Congressman Young offers Traditional Foods Amendment to 2018 Farm Bill

2018-05-17 23:06:03

Congressman Young offers amendment to 2018 Farm Bill

2018-05-17 19:57:38

Congressman Don Young Speaks in Support of H.R. 1417, National Law Enforcement Museum Exhibits Act

2018-05-15 22:40:33

Congressman Young Speaks in Support of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Bill

2018-04-27 01:28:20

Congressman Don Young Speaks to H.R. 4069 at House Natural Resources Committee

2018-04-18 16:46:21

Congressman Young attends Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit

2018-03-07 22:17:34

Contact Information

2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5765
Fax 202-225-0425

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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