2nd Class City
in the Petersburg Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- 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
- City Council Building
Geography and Climate
- Kupreanof is located on the northeast shore of Kupreanof Island, across the Wrangell Narrows from Petersburg and Mitkof Island. It lies about 120 miles south of Juneau and 120 miles north of Ketchikan.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Kupreanof is located in the maritime climate zone. Summer temperatures range 40 to 56 °F, and winter temperatures range from 27 to 43 °F. Precipitation averages 105 inches per year, with 93 inches of snow.
History and Culture
- Early residents homesteaded in this area around the turn of the 20th century, when it was known as West Petersburg. The first business in Kupreanof was a small sawmill started in 1911 by the Knudsen brothers. In its early years, the mill produced barrels for the salted fish that were shipped out of Petersburg. The Yukon Fur Farm began raising foxes in the early 1920s, but soon after shifted to mink. This became the first mink farm in Alaska. During the 1920s, over 100 people resided in West Petersburg. In addition to the sawmill and commercial fishing operations, residents had a small store, a gaff hook factory, and several mink ranches. During the 1930s and 40s a small ship repair facility, an outboard motor shop, commercial logging, a clam cannery, and a barrel-maker were operating. Although the Knudsen Mill and the Yukon Fur Farm continued into the 1960s, the economics of living on the island became more difficult. The population fell from 60 in 1950 to 26 in 1960. The population has since remained stable. The name of West Petersburg was changed to Kupreanof, after the island it was located on, when it incorporated as a second-class city in 1975.
- Today Kupreanof is a small, close-knit non-Native community. All of the homes are built on the waterfront; there are no roads. Residents use skiffs to travel to Petersburg for schooling, goods and services. The majority of the working residents are self-employed, and some commute by boat to jobs in Petersburg. Subsistence and recreational use of resources around Kupreanof supplement household incomes; deer, salmon, halibut, shrimp and crab are favorites. The City has no full-time staff, few services, and no public utilities.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- 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.
- Kupreanof is a designated roadless community according to its city charter. The community is a destination for seasonal tourist activities using a local trail system in conjunction with the US Forest Service trail system. These include several miles of trails which start at sea level and go beyond 2000 ft. on one end, a convenient low elevation loop trail about 1.5 miles in length, and the 10 mile long Petersburg Creek trail which ends at the Petersburg Lake cabin. These trails provide access to the city and its rainforest environment. Small boats are the primary means of transportation to and from Kupreanof. Boat travel to Petersburg provides connection to that city's transportation services, including jet flights and the state ferry. Float planes can land at the government dock, but it is not a designated seaplane dock. There are no harbor facilities.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection