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Economy

Stories about the local, state, or national economy.

Local workers in Eek construct a 320-square-foot tiny home as part of a CVRF pilot project to see if tiny homes funded partly by mortgages could increase homeownership in communities with housing shortages.
Coastal Villages Region Fund

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta has a housing crisis. Three-thousand new homes are needed, but less than 30 houses are built in the region each year, according to a statewide housing assessment. Meanwhile, nearly half of the region’s existing homes are overcrowded, and the population is growing. One regional fisheries organization is hoping to close the gap with a tiny project that could make a big difference.


Excited Newtok children sprint down to Mertarvik's newly extended boat harbor.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Two Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta communities, Newtok and Kotlik, have received recent funding to buttress their villages from erosion driven by climate change.

Katie Basile / KYUK

A national climate report says what many Alaskans already know: the state is warming twice as fast as the rest of the country. Rural and Alaska Native communities are the first to feel those impacts, and the stakes are especially high for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta because the region is home to the greatest number of tribes in the state.


Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Crooked Creek, located on the Upper Kuskokwim River, is the closest village to the proposed Donlin mine. The signs of Donlin Gold are everywhere in town, but the local community is conflicted about the mine. Some residents see the potential for much needed economic development, while others see the possible disruption of their subsistence lifestyle.

Two men who grew up in Crooked Creek worked for Donlin Gold in the past. Both see its development as inevitable, but disagree on whether the mine should happen at all. 


Dean Swope / KYUK

The parallel runway at the Bethel Airport will undergo construction next summer to deal with damage from melting permafrost, which has caused dips in the surface. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Canadian company Barrick Gold is the biggest gold mining company in the world. A proposed merger with another large gold mining company in South Africa, Randgold, would make it even bigger.

Barrick Gold also wants to build one of the world’s largest gold mines, the Donlin gold mine, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. This merger could have future implications for the project. 


Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

A full Alaska Airlines flight to Anchorage was canceled due to a mechanical error on Wednesday night, leaving close to 100 people looking for a place to stay in Bethel.

Populations of Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta villages are growing faster than the population of the regional hub city, Bethel, Alaska.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The overall population of Alaska has remained steady over the past five years. But in certain areas of the state, it’s on the rise. Some of those areas are Alaska’s smallest communities.


U.S. Census Bureau

One of the most important tools for ensuring government representation and the distribution of federal funds relies on neighbors counting neighbors. The 2020 U.S. Census is more than a year away, and government officials are already planning the effort to count each person living in rural Alaska.


Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

The village of Aniak’s runway construction could cause more headaches for the community during spring breakup. Aniak’s city manager Kevin Toothacker says that the state’s plans to modify a road that runs next to the runway could compromise it.


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