Community of Yakutat:
The Community of Yakutat was the final awardee at the Alaska Forum on the Environment Awards luncheon. Yakutat is located on the scenic Gulf Coast of Alaska, and surrounded by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Tongass National Forest. Yakutat has a population of 594 residents.
Yakutat changed the operation of their landfill in recent years as a partnership effort between the Tribe and the City of Yakutat. Currently, the Yakutat landfill operates as a Class III landfill by providing safe and controlled drop-off locations, waste sorting, and recycling options. Once featured as a landfill with serious operational concerns, Yakutat's self initiative to operate a safe landfill and minimize their risks to the community and the environment has been a huge success story.
Yakutat suffers, as many communities do, from aging utility infrastructure. The City of Yakutat continues to develop a Comprehensive Plan that provides long-term goals for updating and upgrading sewer and water infrastructure, while addressing current concerns by ensuring they have stocked critical repair components and parts. Maintaining existing infrastructure is a necessary task and done with foresight and good planning.
Yakutat is now working to build momentum with a community workgroup where the Tribe, City, and local businesses and community members can identify environmental concerns and take steps to find solutions that balance their community values and economics.
There is much good to come from Yakutat and it was a pleasure to award them the Green Star® Community Award!