2nd Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (hoos' lee uh)
- 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
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Honeybucket Haul, Washeteria, Electric (AVEC), Airport maintenance (State contract), Landfill, Health Clinic,Volunteer Fire, Fuel Sales, Head Start, City Hall/Public Safety Office, Tribal Office, Community Hall, Roads, Harbor/Dock, Bingo. State-funded Public Safety Officer (VPSO).
Geography and Climate
- Huslia is located on the north bank of the Koyukuk River, about 170 river miles northwest of Galena and 290 air miles west of Fairbanks. It lies within the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge.
- The area has a cold, continental climate with extreme temperature differences. The average daily maximum temperature is 72 °F during July; the average minimum is below 0 °F during January. Record temperatures have been recorded from -65 to above 90 °F. The annual precipitation averages 13 inches, with 70 inches of snowfall. The Koyukuk River is ice-free from May through September.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The Koyukon Athabascans lived between the south fork of the Koyukuk River and the Kateel River. They had spring, summer, fall, and winter camps and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer, many families would float on a raft to the Yukon to fish for salmon. The Koyukon often traded with the Kobuk River Eskimos. By 1843, Russian explorers had made contact with Athabascans approximately 50 miles downriver from the current site. The Western Union Telegraph Company explored the river around 1867, and missionary activity increased after 1870. Cutoff Trading Post (also called Old Town) was established in the 1920s about 4 miles overland or 16 river miles from modern Huslia. In 1949, the community moved to the present site, because Cutoff flooded frequently, and the ground was swampy. Huslia (originally spelled Huslee) was named after a local stream. Huslia had been used as a burial site since 1886, but, by the time of the move, most of the old cemetery had been destroyed by erosion. In 1950, the first school was established, followed by a post office, airport, and road construction in 1952. At this time, families began to live year-round at Huslia. In 1960, a health clinic was constructed, and, in 1963, 29 individual hand-pumped water wells were installed. The city government was incorporated in 1969. Running water and indoor plumbing arrived in 1974.
- Huslia is an Athabascan village, and most residents are related by birth or marriage.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Huslia Village
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale of alcohol is banned.
- 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.
- Water travel is the principal mode of transportion during the summer. Cargo and fuel arrives by barge twice each year, in May and September. Groceries are flown in weekly by bypass mail. Huslia is accessible by air year-round. There is a 4,000' long by 75' wide lighted gravel airstrip that is owned by the state. Snowmachines, ATVs, and skiffs are used for local transportation. Huslia has a network of winter trails, and the frozen river is used as an ice road to neighboring villages.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection