Location and Climate
Lower Kalskag is located on the north bank of the Kuskokwim River, 2 miles downriver from Kalskag. It lies 26 miles west of Aniak, 89 miles northeast of Bethel, and 350 miles west of Anchorage. The community lies at approximately 61.512220 degrees North Latitude and -160.358060 degrees West Longitude. (Sec. 02, T016N, R062W, Seward Meridian.) Lower Kalskag is located in the Kuskokwim Recording District. The area encompasses 1.3 square miles of land and 0.4 square miles of water. The climate is semi-arctic with maritime influences from the Bering Sea. Precipitation averages 19 inches, with 60 inches of snowfall. Temperatures range between -55 and 87. The Kuskokwim River is ice-free from mid-June through October.
History, Culture and Demographics
The site was originally used as a fish camp for families of Kalskag, two miles to the northeast. In 1930, people began to establish year-round homes. The Russian Orthodox residents of Kalskag, a predominantly Roman Catholic village, moved to Lower Kalskag in the 1930s because of religious differences. The Russian Orthodox Chapel of St. Seraphim was built in 1940. A school was built in 1959, followed by a post office in 1962, a sawmill in 1965 and a power plant in 1969. A new church was built in the late 1970s. The city of Lower Kalskag was incorporated in 1969. A federally recognized tribe is located in the community, the Village of Lower Kalskag. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the community consists of 282 people, with 92.20 percent of the population Alaska Native, or part Native. The people of Lower Kalskag are predominantly from the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Russian Orthodox practitioners who relocated from Kalskag in the 1930s. Subsistence activities provide food sources. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 79, and vacant housing units numbered 13. Vacant housing units used only seasonally numbered 8. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 51 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 42.05 percent, although 69.46 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $25,625, per capita income was $7,654 and 40.63 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.
Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care
An 85-foot well provides water, which is treated and piped to most homes and the school. The school, clinic and over 40 of the homes use individual septic tanks and have complete plumbing. A 10,000-gallon community septic tank allows for piped sewage collection to part of the village. Funds have been requested to connect the 20 remaining homes using septic tanks to the piped sewer system, due to effluent ponding. The community also needs a washeteria and watering point. Refuse is burned or buried at a new landfill located between Kalskag and Lower Kalskag. Electricity is provided by AVEC. There are 2 schools located in the community, attended by 142 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Lower Kalskag Health Clinic (907-471-2294) or Clara Morgan Sub-Regional Clinic (907-675-4556) in Aniak. Lower Kalskag is classified as an isolated village, it is found in EMS Region 7A in the Yukon Kuskokwim Region. Emergency services, provided by a health aide, have river and air access.
Current Population: 256 (2008 DOLWD Estimated Population)
Incorporation Type: 2nd Class City
Borough Located In: Unorganized
Village of Lower Kalskag
P.O. Box 27
Lower Kalskag, AK 99626