Published on September 16, 2010 by Aquarius
Location and Climate
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Mountain Village is on the north bank of the Yukon River, approximately 20 miles west of St. Mary’s and 470 miles northwest of Anchorage. It is at the foot of the 500′ Azachorok Mountain, the first mountain encountered by those traveling up the Yukon. The community lies at approximately 62.085560Â° North Latitude and -163.729440Â° West Longitude. (Sec. 14, T023N, R079W, Seward Meridian.) Mountain Village is located in the Bethel Recording District. The area encompasses 4.3 sq. miles of land and 0.0 sq. miles of water. The climate is continental with maritime influences. Temperatures range from -44 to 80 Â°F. Annual precipitation averages 16 inches, with snowfall of 44 inches. High winds and low visibility are common during winter. The Lower Yukon is ice-free from mid-June to October.
History, Culture and Demographics
Mountain Village was a summer fish camp until the opening of a general store in 1908. This prompted residents of Liberty Landing and Johnny’s Place to immigrate. A Covenant Church missionary school was also built in that same year. A post office was established in 1923, followed by a salmon saltery in 1956 and a cannery in 1964. All three have since ceased operating. The city government was incorporated in 1967. Mountain Village became a regional education center in 1976 when it was selected as headquarters for the Lower Yukon School District.
A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community — the Asa’carsarmiut Tribal Council. The population of the community consists of 93.5% Alaska Native or part Native. It is a Yup’ik Eskimo community with traditional subsistence practices. Commercial fishing and fish processing provide income. The sale and importation of alcohol is banned in the village. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 211, and vacant housing units numbered 28. Vacant housing units used only seasonally numbered 3. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 180 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 30.77 percent, although 57.65 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $31,250, per capita income was $9,653, and 22.19 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.
Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care
Water is derived from a well and is treated. Mountain Village operates a piped water and sewer system that serves 200 households and facilities. A landfill is available. Electricity is provided by AVEC. There is one school located in the community, attended by 236 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include George Waskey Memorial Clinic (Mountain Village). Emergency Services have limited highway, river and air access. Emergency service is provided by a health aide.
Economy and Transportation
Mountain Village has a seasonal economy based on fishing and subsistence. In 2009, 81 residents held commercial fishing permits. There are a few full-time positions with the city, school district, federal government, and Native corporation. Subsistence foods are relied upon, including salmon, moose, and waterfowl. Some residents trap for additional income.
A summer road links Mountain Village to Pitka’s Point, Andreafsky, and St. Mary’s. The community is accessible by riverboat or barge. A state-owned 3,500′ long by 75′ wide gravel airstrip is available, and floatplanes land on the Yukon River. In the winter, passengers, cargo, and mail are flown in by plane. Snowmachines and skiffs are used for local transportation.