2nd Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (you' kawn)
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Laundromat, Septic Pumping, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Cable TV, Liqour Store, Police, Bingo/Pull Tabs, Equipment Rental
Geography and Climate
- Fort Yukon is located at the confluence of the Yukon and Porcupine Rivers, about 145 air miles northeast of Fairbanks.
- The winters are long and harsh, and the summers are short but warm. After freeze-up, the plateau is a source of cold, continental arctic air. Daily minimum temperatures between November and March are usually below 0 °F. Extended periods of -50 to -60 °F are common. Summer high temperatures run 65 to 72 °F; a high of 97 °F has been recorded. Total annual precipitation averages 6.58 inches, with 43.4 inches of snowfall. The Yukon River is ice-free from the end of May through mid-September.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Fort Yukon was founded in 1847 by Alexander Murray as a Canadian outpost in Russian territory. It became an important trade center for the Gwich'in Indians, who inhabited the vast lowlands of the Yukon Flats and River valleys. The Hudson Bay Company, a British trading company, operated at Fort Yukon from 1846 until 1869. In 1862, a mission school was established. In 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S., and, two years later, it was determined that Fort Yukon was on American soil. Moses Mercier, a trader with the Alaska Commercial Company, took over operation of the Fort Yukon Trading Post. A post office was established in 1898. The fur trade of the 1800s, the whaling boom on the Arctic coast (1889-1904), and the Klondike Gold Rush spurred economic activity and provided some economic opportunities for the Natives. However, major epidemics of introduced diseases struck the Fort Yukon population from the 1860s until the 1920s. In 1949, a flood damaged or destroyed many homes in Fort Yukon. During the 1950s, a White Alice Communications System and an Air Force station were established. Fort Yukon incorporated as a city in 1959.
- Most Fort Yukon residents are descendants of the Yukon Flats, Chandalar River, Birch Creek, Black River, and Porcupine River Gwich'in Athabascan tribes. Subsistence is an important component of the local culture.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Fort Yukon
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale by municipality operated license only: Package Store Only
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Not required to exercise the powers in any circumstance, but may be permitted in all cases in the manner described for first class cities.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 20 mills, except where a higher levy is required to avoid default. Voter approval required.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes; however, voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Vote by Mayor
- Votes on all matters.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Does not have veto power.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted, but requires voter approval.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.
- Fort Yukon is located at the confluence of the Yukon and Porcupine Rivers, about 145 air miles northeast of Fairbanks. Fort Yukon is accessible by air year-round and by barge during the summer months. Heavy cargo is brought in by barge from the end of May through mid-September; there is a barge off-loading area but no dock. Grocery items and other supplies are also shipped by air. Riverboats and skiffs are used for recreation, hunting, fishing, and other subsistence activities. A state-owned lighted, gravel airstrip is available; Hospital Lake, adjacent to the airport, is used by float planes. Snow machines and dog sleds are used on area trails or the frozen river, which becomes an ice road to area villages during winter. Extensive erosion to the north bank of the Yukon River has caused damage to city roads, which are scheduled for repairs in Spring 2014.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection