Quinhagak community leaders are asking the State of Alaska to close sport fishing in the waterways of the Kuskokwim Bay this summer. The request precedes an appeal from Dillingham city and tribal leaders asking the governor to close Bristol Bay’s commercial salmon fishery.
Donlin Gold has suspended its drilling program, and plans to remove most of its employees from its remote work camp in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta starting April 9. This comes as the state ramps up health mandates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Alaska Airlines says that it will keep flying to all the communities it currently serves. The company issued a news release stating this commitment after Ravn Air Group’s abrupt announcement that it would end all flights, lay off employees, and file for bankruptcy.
The tiny Kuskokwim River village of Stony River is trying to figure out how to get basic medical and food supplies for its residents after RavnAir halted flights to Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta villages on April 2. While one airline will bring mail to Stony River, how the community will get medicine and sanitation supplies is still in question. Ravn’s decision made it harder for Stony River to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak.
Virus or not, the U.S. Census is underway. Americans are going online, to the phone, and to the mailbox to complete the once-a-decade questionnaire. But so far, Alaska has the lowest response rate of any state in the union.
When RavnAir suddenly discontinued service to rural communities across the state, it left workers without jobs and villages without passenger or mail service. Already, other regional airlines are stepping in to close the gaps Ravn left behind. Three airlines are expanding their routes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and some are even hiring.