DEMOGRAPHICS

Current Population:
691 (2003 State Demographer est.)

Incorporation Type:
Home Rule Borough

Taxes:
Sales: 4%, Property: 9.0 mills, Special: 1% Salmon; 8% Bed; 8% Car Rental

Location and Climate:
     Yakutat is isolated among the lowlands along the Gulf of Alaska, 225 miles northwest of Juneau and 220 miles southeast of Cordova. It is at the mouth of Yakutat Bay, one of the few refuges for vessels along this stretch of coast. The Hubbard and Malaspina Glaciers are nearby. It lies at approximately 59.546940 North Latitude and -139.72722 West Longitude (Sec. 30, T027S, R034E, Copper River Meridian). The area encompasses 7,650.5 sq. miles of land and 1,808.8 sq. miles of water. Yakutat has a maritime climate characterized by relatively mild, often rainy weather. Summer temperatures range from 42 to 60; winter temperatures, 17 to 39. Yakutat receives some of the heaviest precipitation in the state, averaging 132 inches, including 219 inches of snowfall.

History, Culture and Demographics:
    
Yakutat has a diverse cultural history. The original settlers are believed to have been Eyak-speaking people from the Copper River area who were conquered by the Tlingits. Yakutat means "the place where the canoes rest." In the 18th and 19th centuries, English, French, Spanish and Russian explorers came to the region. Fur traders were attracted to the region's sea otters. The Russian-American Co. built a fort in Yakutat in 1805 to harvest sea otter pelts. Because the Russians would not allow local Tlingits access to their traditional fisheries, a Tlingit war party attacked and destroyed the post. In 1884, the Alaska Commercial Co. opened a store in Yakutat. By 1886, the black sand beaches in the area were being mined for gold. In 1889 the Swedish Free Mission Church had opened a school and sawmill in the area. A cannery, sawmill, store and railroad were constructed beginning in 1903 by the Stimson Lumber Co. Most residents moved to the current site of Yakutat to be closer to this cannery, which operated through 1970. During World War II, a large aviation garrison and paved runway were constructed. Troops were withdrawn after the war, but the runway is still in use. The City of Yakutat was formed in 1948, but in 1992, the City was dissolved and a Borough was organized for the region.

     A federally recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe; Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. 46.8% of the population are Alaska Native or part Native. The area maintains a traditional Tlingit culture with influences from the original Eyak Athabascans, as well as Russian, English and American traders and miners. Fishing and subsistence activities are prevalent.

     During the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 499 total housing units, and 234 were vacant. 178 of these vacant housing units are used only seasonally. 440 residents were employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 7.76%, although 28.22% of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $46,786, per capita income was $22,579, and 13.54% of residents were living below the poverty level.

Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care:
Water is derived from four wells, is treated and piped to all 191 homes in the community and the schools. Several wooden storage tanks provide pressure to the water system; three need replacement. Piped sewage receives primary treatment; a secondary treatment facility is nearing completion. A private firm collects refuse, and the Borough operates the landfill. Electricity is provided by Yakutat Power, Inc., using four diesel-fueled generators.

Electricity is provided by Yakutat Power.

There is one school located in the community, attended by 145 students.

Local hospitals or health clinics include Yakutat Community Health Center (784-3275). The clinic is a qualified Emergency Care Center Auxiliary health care is provided by Yakutat Volunteer EMS/Rescue (784-3206).

Economy and Transportation:
Yakutat's economy is dependent on fishing, fish processing and government. 162 residents hold commercial fishing permits. North Pacific Processors is the major private employer. Recreational fishing opportunities, both saltwater and freshwater fishing in the Situk River, are world-class. Most residents depend on subsistence hunting and fishing. Salmon, trout, shellfish, deer, moose, bear and goats are harvested.

There are scheduled jet flights, air taxis and float plane services to Yakutat. The State owns two jet-certified runways; one is 6,475' long by 150' wide of concrete, the other is 7,745' long by 150' wide of asphalt. The airport is located 3 miles southeast. A seaplane base is available 1 mile northwest. The U.S. Forest Service owns five airstrips in the vicinity, and the National Park Service operates one at East Alsek River. The Borough operates the State-owned boat harbor and the Ocean Cape dock. Monti Bay is the only sheltered deep water port in the Gulf of Alaska. Barges deliver goods monthly during the winter, and more frequently in summer. The new State Ferry Kennicott began serving Yakutat in July 1998. However, severe seas in the Gulf of Alaska during winter months restrict the ferry service to summers only.

Organizations with Local Offices:

  • Borough - City & Borough of Yakutat, P.O. Box 160, Yakutat, AK 99689, Phone 907-784-3323 , Fax 907-784-3281 , E-mail: sryman@yakutatak.us

  • Regional Native Non-Profit - Yakutat Native Association, P.O. Box 418, Yakutat, AK 99689, Phone 907-784-3932 , Fax 907-784-3595 , E-mail: yttgm@hotmail.com

  • School District - Yakutat School District, P.O. Box 429, Yakutat, AK 99689-0429, Phone 907-784-3317 , Fax 907-784-3446 , E-mail: rschug@yakutatschools.org

  • Village Corporation - Yak-Tat Kwaan, Incorporated, P.O. Box 416, Yakutat, AK 99689, Phone 907-784-3335 , Fax 907-784-3622

  • Village Council - Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, P.O. Box 418, Yakutat, AK 99689, Phone 907-784-3238 , Fax 907-784-3595 , E-mail: yttgm@hotmail.com

Regional Organizations

* This information came from the database at: http://www.dced.state.ak.us/home.htm

Yakutat Chamber Of Commerce
PO Box 510
Yakutat, AK 99689

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