2nd Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (koy' yuh kuck)
- 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
- Water & Sewer Haul System, Washeteria, Electric, Landfill, Health Clinic, Suicide Prevention, Volunteer Fire/EMS, Library, Fuel Sales, Lodging, Parks & Recreation
Geography and Climate
- Koyukuk is located on the Yukon River near the mouth of the Koyukuk River, 30 miles west of Galena and 290 air miles west of Fairbanks. It lies adjacent to the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge and the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The area experiences a cold, continental climate with extreme temperature differences. The average daily high temperature during July is in the low 70s; the average daily low temperature during January ranges from 10 to below 0 °F. Sustained temperatures of -40 °F are common during winter. Extreme temperatures have been measured from -64 to 92 °F. Annual precipitation averages 13 inches, with 60 inches of snowfall annually. The river is ice-free from mid-May through mid-October.
History and Culture
- The Koyukon Athabascans traditionally had spring, summer, fall, and winter camps, and moved as the wild game migrated. Koyukuk was a traditional gathering area for trading, social and cultural events, as stated above. Then in about 1867, a military telegraph line was constructed along the north side of the Yukon, and Koyukuk became the site of a telegraph station. A trading post opened around 1880, just before the gold rush of 1884- 85. Freight delivery by steamboats on the Yukon, which supplied gold prospectors, emerging communities, and local residents, peaked in 1900 with about 46 boats in operation. A 1900 measles epidemic and food shortages tragically reduced the Native population of the area by about one-third. Gold seekers left the Yukon after 1906, but other mining activity continued sporadically throughout the region. The first school in Koyukuk was constructed in 1939. Following the school start-up, families began to live at Koyukuk year-round. The City was incorporated as a second-class municipality in 1973 under State of Alaska statutes. Prior to 1973 the community was governed through the Village of Koyukuk, Traditional Council. The Koyukuk Tribal Council was formally organized in the Constitution of the Native Tribe of Koyukuk, which was adopted in 1992.
- Koyukuk is a traditional Koyukon Athabascan village. The traditional name for the village is Meneelghaadze? T?oh or ?the village at the base of the bluff?. The village is located at the confluence of the Yukon and Koyukuk Rivers. Because of its prominent location at this important cultural site, Athabascan people historically gathered at Meneelghaadze? T?oh to trade and to participate in social and cultural events. It is said among Native people that Koyukuk is the land of the beautiful people, a place that people like to visit, and a place where they have a good time. Renowned Athabascan linguist, elder, and resident Eliza Jones explains that this is because Koyukuk is known for its hospitality. Koyukuk also has a tradition of many storytellers, musicians, singers and songwriters.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Koyukuk Native Village
- 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.
- The state-owned lighted, gravel runway provides year-round transportation. The river is heavily traveled when ice-free, from mid-May through mid-October. Cargo is delivered by barge about four times each summer. Numerous local trails and winter trails to Chance and Nulato are used by residents. Snow machines, ATVs, and riverboats are used for local transportation.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection