2nd Class City
in the Northwest Arctic Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (am' blur)
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Fisheries Participation and Earnings
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permit Holders
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permits Issued
- CDQ Participant
- CQE Eligible
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Roads, Landfill, Health Clinic, Electric (AVEC), Volunteer Fire, Cable TV, Dock, Sewage Lagoon
Geography and Climate
- Ambler is located on the north bank of the Kobuk River, near the confluence of the Ambler and the Kobuk Rivers. It lies 45 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is 138 miles northeast of Kotzebue, 30 miles northwest of Kobuk, and 30 miles downriver from Shungnak.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Ambler is located in the continental climate zone. Temperatures average -10 to 15 °F during the winter and 40 to 65 °F during the summer. Temperature extremes have been recorded from -65 to 92 °F. Snowfall averages 80 inches and precipitation averages 16 inches per year. The Kobuk River is navigable from early July to mid-October.
History and Culture
- Ambler is named after Dr. James M. Ambler, a U.S. Navy surgeon on the U.S.S. Jeannette, who perished in 1881 in the Lena River Delta while with the Arctic expedition under the command of Lt. Comdr. G.W. DeLong (1879-1880). Ambler was permanently settled in 1958 when people from Shungnak and Kobuk moved upstream because of the variety of fish, wild game, and spruce trees in the area. An archaeological site is located nearby at Onion Portage. A post office was established in 1963. The city was incorporated in 1971.
- The residents of Ambler are Kowagniut Inupiat Eskimos, with a traditional subsistence lifestyle.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Ambler
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
- 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.
- Ambler's major means of transportation are by barge, plane, small boat, and snow machine. There are no roads linking the city to other parts of the state. A state-owned lighted, gravel airstrip, with a gravel crosswind airstrip is located one and a half miles from the city. In addition, daily scheduled services are provided out of Kotzebue, and air taxis provide charter flights. Crowley Marine Services barges fuel and supplies to Ambler each summer. Boats are used for inter-village travel and subsistence activities. ATVs and snow machines are commonly used in winter.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection