Historic Obama Alaska trip to focus on climate change

President Obama will be in Alaska for three days discussing with Alaska's Native Americans the effects of climate change on tourism, as well as improvements to fishing conservation, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Plante.

"I'm looking forward to talking with Alaskans about how we can work together to make America the leader on climate change around the globe," Mr. Obama said.

He is also expected to tour one of the state's shrinking glaciers and visit communities in Alaska's Arctic region, becoming the first sitting president to do so.

In addition, Mr. President Obama will make history by renaming the country's tallest mountain. The more-than-20,000-foot tall Mount McKinley will once again be known be known by its Native American name, "Denali."

"We are honored to be able to officially recognize the mountain as Denali," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said.

The name of the world's third most prominent peak has been embroiled in controversy for more than a century. The return to its original name, Denali, is a nod to Alaska's Native Americans.

Obama: Climate change threat is "all real"

The decision was heralded by Murkowski.

"I'd like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska," she said.

In President McKinley's home state of Ohio, some criticized the change. Sen. Rob Portman tweeted that it's "another example of the president going around Congress."

He has since delete those tweets.

What the president will steer away from speaking about is his decision to allow Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. He's deflected criticism from environmental groups, saying the oil company will be held to high operational standards.

Mount McKinley Denali National Park
This Aug. 19, 2011, file photo shows Mount McKinley in Denali National Park, Alaska. AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File