1st Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (guh lee' nuh); a.k.a. Louden
- 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, Water Delivery, Sewage Tank Haul, Electric Utility, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Public Showers, Edgar Nollner Health Center, Dental Clinic, Behavioral Health, Police Department,Volunteer Fire Department, EMS & Ambulance, Schools Pre-K - 12, Daycare, Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA) Boarding School, Yukon-Koyukuk Learning Center, Public Library, Community Hall, Roads, Parks & Recreation, Swimming Pool
Geography and Climate
- Galena is located on the north bank of the Yukon River, 45 miles east of Nulato and 270 air miles west of Fairbanks. It lies northeast of the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge.
- The area experiences a cold, continental climate with extreme temperature differences. The average daily high temperature during July is in the low 70s; the average daily low temperature during January ranges from 10 to below 0 °F. Sustained temperatures of -40 °F are common during winter. Extreme temperatures have been measured from -64 to 92 °F. Annual precipitation averages 12.7 inches, with 60 inches of snowfall. The river is ice-free from mid-May through mid-October.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The area's Koyukon Athabascans had spring, summer, fall, and winter camps and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer, many families would float on rafts to the Yukon to fish for salmon. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. Galena was established in 1918 near an old Athabascan fish camp called Henry's Point. It became a supply and trans-shipment point for nearby lead ore mines. In 1920, Athabascans living 14 miles upriver at Louden began moving to Galena to sell wood to steamboats and to work hauling freight for the mines. A school was established in the mid-1920s, and a post office opened in 1932. The Galena Air Field was constructed in World War II. In 1945, the community suffered a major flood. During the 1950s, military facilities at the Galena and Campion Air Force Stations and airport and road developments sparked growth in the community. Due to another severe flood in 1971, a new community site was developed at Alexander Lake, about 1.5 miles east of the original townsite. City offices, the health clinic, schools, a washeteria, a store, and more than 150 homes were constructed at "New Town," and a city government was formed. The Air Force Station was closed in 1993, and the facilities are currently being used by the Galena School District as a boarding school. The base facilities are maintained under contract by the Chugach Development Corporation.
- The population is mixed Athabascan and non-Native, and traditional festivals attract visitors from other river villages. The establishment of the Galena and Campion Air Force Bases in the 1950s brought growth and change to Galena. But in 1997, the airbase was closed and the property was transferred to the City. Many of Galena's residents were originally from Louden or are descendants of Louden inhabitants. Subsistence food sources include salmon, whitefish, moose, and berries.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Galena Village
- Incorporation Type
- 1st Class City
- Public Education
- Must provide the service in accordance with AS 14.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Must exercise the powers in accordance with AS 29.40.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 30 mills, except where a higher levy is necessary to avoid default on debt. Voter approval is not required under State law; however, stricter limitations can be imposed at the local level.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes, but voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 6 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected at large for a 3-year term, unless a different term not to exceed 4 years is provided by ordinance.
- Vote by Mayor
- May vote to break a tie vote on the city council.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Has veto power, except veto is not permitted of ordinance prohibiting posession of alcohol.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted by statute.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- Voters may adopt home-rule charter.
- Galena serves as the transportation and commercial center for surrounding villages in the western Interior of Alaska. The former Galena Air Force Station field, now the Edward G. Pitka, Sr. airport, has daily flights to Fairbanks through several small carriers. Barge companies use the Yukon River to deliver goods to Galena. The Yukon River is also used as a transportation corridor to nearby villages year-round. Galena has no paved roads, but there are 45 miles of gravel roadways and 276.8 miles of undeveloped roads which are used for subsistence and recreation. Pickups, cars, snow machines, skiffs, and ATVs are used for local travel. During winter, the frozen rivers are used for travel to Ruby, Koyukuk, Kaltag, and Nulato. A winter trail is available to Huslia.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection