Hiking events

Ben Stevens, former state legislator, dies while hiking near Seward

Former Alaska Senate President Ben Stevens died Thursday night while hiking on the Kenai Peninsula.

According to a Friday dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers, Stevens, 63, died while hiking along the Lost Lake Trail near Seward. Soldiers responded to a report of a hiker’s “medical emergency” around 6 p.m. Thursday, the dispatch said. The soldiers got the coordinates and Lifemed was asked to respond while the soldiers and U.S. Forest Service agents responded to the trailhead.

According to the dispatch, Lifemed arrived at the scene around 6:41 p.m. and rescue measures were unsuccessful. CPR was underway at the time, the dispatch said. According to the soldiers, Stevens’ body was transported to Anchorage via Lifemed.

The Lost Lake Trail, a segment of the Iditarod National Historic Trail, is an out-and-back trail near Seward in the Chugach National Forest. The US Forest Service lists the Lost Lake Trail as 7.3 miles one way with approximately 1,920 feet of elevation gain. The one-way journey time is three to four hours.

Several Alaska leaders mourned Stevens’ death on social media Friday, including Gov. Mike Dunleavy, former Gov. Bill Walker and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. Stevens most recently worked as vice president of external affairs and transportation for ConocoPhillips. He is the son of the late US Senator Ted Stevens.

“Ben Stevens was a good friend of mine,” Dunleavy tweeted. “I will always cherish the time he was my chief of staff; his knowledge and his political acumen have been important assets in my administration. Rose and I offer our prayers to Ben’s wife, Elizabeth, and the children during this difficult time.

In a Friday afternoon press release, the Alaska Senate offered condolences to Steven’s family.

“The Alaska Senate family is shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of a good friend and colleague, Senator Ben Stevens, Senate Speaker Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, said in the statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to Elizabeth, her family and the thousands of Alaskans who mourn the loss of Ben today.”

Micciche called Stevens a “dedicated public servant” who was “generous of his time and funds with the most vulnerable.”

“As the son of the longest-serving Republican in U.S. Senate history, politics and a fierce commitment to service to Alaska were in Ben’s blood,” Micciche said in the statement.

Former Alaska governor and current gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker called Stevens’ death on social media “surreal.”

“Hang out with Ben Stevens twice this week and had a great visit with him and Elizabeth at an event Monday night so the news of his passing is surreal,” Walker said on Twitter. “Donna and I offer our deepest condolences to Elizabeth, their four children and the entire Stevens family.”

Murkowski described Stevens as a friend who she says will “really be missed.”

“Ben was a great friend of mine, a great father and husband, and the one who made Alaska a better place for all of us,” Murkowski tweeted. “His sudden passing leaves a hole in our Alaskan fabric. Ben Stevens… will be truly missed.

U.S. Representative Mary Peltola also released a statement offering her condolences to Steven’s family.

“My love and prayers go out to the entire Stevens family,” Peltola said. “Ben and I had a great working relationship and considered him a good friend. We just had lunch last week which makes his sudden passing even more difficult. Alaska has lost a great leader who worked tirelessly for our entire state.

ConocoPhillips Chairman Erec Isaacson said in a statement Friday that Stevens is a “valued leader” at the company and “leaves an important legacy” in Alaska.

“The entire ConocoPhillips family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing on Thursday evening of our friend and colleague, Ben Stevens. Our sympathies go out to his family and loved ones at this difficult time. »

Contact reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at [email protected]

Alaska State Senate President Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage, center, and Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, right, listen to Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, May 3, 2006, during a Senate session on Capitol Hill in Juneau, Alaska. Ben Stevens, former President of the Alaska Senate and son of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, died Thursday, October 13, 2022. He was 63. (AP Photo/Seanna O’Sullivan, File)