Energy & Environment

Ohioans fuming over Mount McKinley name change

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Ohio lawmakers are voicing disappointment with President Obama’s decision to rename Alaska’s Mount McKinley to Denali, the name used by nearby natives.

“There is a reason President McKinley’s name has served atop the highest peak in North America for more than 100 years, and that is because it is a testament to his great legacy,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement issued Sunday night.

{mosads}”I’m deeply disappointed in this decision,” Boehner said, after noting that McKinley served in the Army during the Civil War before representing Ohio in Congress and as governor.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said in a statement on his Facebook account that he was similarly “disappointed” in the decision to rename the mountain long named after “a proud Ohioan.”

“The naming of the mountain has been a topic of discussion in Congress for many years. This decision by the Administration is yet another example of the President going around Congress,” Portman said.

“I now urge the Administration to work with me to find alternative ways to preserve McKinley’s legacy somewhere else in the national park that once bore his name,” Portman added.

“This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action,” Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

Obama announced Sunday his administration is renaming McKinley. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who is responsible for the federal body overseeing place names, said the name change recognizes a name sacred to Alaskans. Denali means “the great one” in the area Athabaskan language.

Alaska’s congressional delegation has seen bipartisan support for legislation the rename the mountain, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) praised the news Sunday, thanking Obama in a statement and video posted online.

“For centuries, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as the ‘Great One.’ Today we are honored to be able to officially recognize the mountain as Denali,” she said in her statement.

Tags Denali National Park and Preserve John Boehner Mount McKinley Rob Portman
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