WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday will officially restore Denali as the name of North America’s tallest mountain, ending a 40-year battle over what to call the peak that has been known as Mount McKinley.
The symbolic gesture comes at the beginning of a three-day trip to Alaska where Obama hopes to build support for his efforts to address climate change during his remaining 16 months in office.
The peak was re-named Mount McKinley in 1896 after a gold prospector exploring the region heard that Ohioan William McKinley, a champion of the gold standard, had won the Republican nomination for president.
But Alaska natives had long before called the mountain Denali, meaning “the High One.” In 1975, the state of Alaska officially designated the mountain as Denali, and has since been pressing the federal government to do the same.
Alaskans had been blocked in Congress by Ohio politicians, who wanted to stick with McKinley as a lasting tribute to the 25th U.S. president, serving from 1897 until his assassination in 1901. Under Obama’s action, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will use her legal authority to end the long debate and rename the mountain, which has an elevation of more than 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).
“This designation recognizes the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska natives,” the White House said in a statement.
article via huffingtonpost.com (Additional reporting by Steve Quinn in Juneau, Alaska; Editing by Peter Cooney)
President Barack Obamaannounced last week that he will designate three new national monuments, permanently protecting more than one million acres of public lands. He designated pristine wilderness landscapes in Nevada as Basin and Range National Monument, scenic mountains in California as Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, and a fossil-rich site in Texas as Waco Mammoth National Monument.
With these designations, President Obama is adding to the 16 national monuments he has already created with his authority under the Antiquities Act, setting aside “more public lands and waters than any administration in history.” Both Democratic and Republican presidents have used their authority under the law to designate national monuments, many of which have later become some of the country’s most iconic national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Arches National Park.
A diverse array of groups praised the announcement, emphasizing that the new monuments were a response to years of local support and advocacy to permanently protect these sites.
“By creating these three new national monuments, President Obama is continuing his commitment to preserving America’s treasured places and cementing his well-deserved place in conservation history,” Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters told the Hill. “The president acted in response to the overwhelming support expressed by local communities and stakeholders across the country for protecting these places of extraordinary environmental, historic, and scientific value.”
As part of its mission to protect natural lands and preserve the environment for all people, Earth Day Network developed The Canopy Project. Rather than focusing on large scale forestry, The Canopy Project plants trees that help communities – especially the world’s impoverished communities – sustain themselves and their local economies. Trees reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help stave off the effects of climate change.
With the reality of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and more frequent and violent storms and floods, tree cover to prevent devastating soil erosion has never been more important. That’s why, earlier this the year, Earth Day Network made a commitment with the Global Poverty Project to plant 10 million trees over the next five years in impoverished areas of the world. Please join us to help make this commitment a reality.
Accomplishments: Over the past three years, The Canopy Project, has planted over 1.5 million trees in 18 countries. In the US, projects to restore urban canopies have been completed in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Flint, and Chicago. In Haiti alone, where earthquakes caused landslides on deforested hillsides, leading to horrific devastation, Earth Day Network planted 500,000 trees. And in three high-poverty districts in central Uganda, we planted 350,000 trees to provide local farmers with food, fuel, fencing, and soil stability.
Our tree plantings are supported by sponsors and individual donations and carried out in partnership with nonprofit tree planting organizations throughout the world. We work in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Billion Trees Campaign. Each tree planted is counted toward A Billion Acts of Green®.