Rural Alaska

Village gets another moose hunt along with a new generator after extended outages

BETHEL – The Western Alaska village of Tuluksak is getting a new generator and an emergency moose season following two extended power outages last month that caused some residents to lose winter food caches.

Tuluksak lost power for five days in early July, and the power failed again later that month for eight days, causing some summer subsistence harvests to thaw in unpowered freezers, KYUK-AM reported Monday.

Three generators power the village, but only one is currently working. The village will be getting the new generator soon, said Middy Peter, the tribal council president.

Various maintenance problems caused the outages last month, the Alaska Energy Authority said. While the energy authority was working with the village's utility staff to repair the generator during the first outage, another generator overheated and failed.

The village requires at least two generators to be functioning for the power supply to be reliable.

Poor maintenance and lack of funding has historically been blamed for the village's power failures, said George Lamont, a former tribal administrator.

"This has been going on for quite some years now," Lamont said.

The village has hired a new utility operator to help address these issues, Peter said.

The Federal Subsistence Board is opening an emergency moose season Friday for Tuluksak residents to help replace the food lost from the power outages. The village will be able to kill seven bull moose under 14 permits issued during the season that closes Aug. 31.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the emergency moose season was approved by the Federal Subsistence Board, not the state of Alaska.