Buckland is located on the west bank of the Buckland River, about 75 miles southeast of Kotzebue. Buckland is located in the Cape Nome Recording District. Temperatures range from -60 to the 85 °F. Annual precipitation averages 9 inches, and annual snowfall averages 40 inches. Crosswinds can restrict flying during the winter.
The residents have moved from one site to another along the river at least five times in recent memory, to places known as Elephant Point, Old Buckland, and New Site. The presence of many fossil finds at Elephant Point indicate prehistoric occupation of the area. The Inupiaq people depend on reindeer, beluga whale, and seal for survival. The city government was incorporated in 1966.
Buckland is an Inupiat village, and subsistence activities are an important focus of the economy. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village.
Residents depend on a subsistence lifestyle for most food sources. Employment is primarily with the school, city, health clinic, and stores. Some mining also occurs.
Water is pumped from Buckland River, treated in the washeteria building, and stored in a 100,000-gallon tank. Some residents have water delivered to home tanks, but most haul their own water. The city pumps flush/haul waste tanks or hauls honeybuckets to the sewage lagoon. A flush/haul system has been problematic on the south side of town, and it sometimes freezes and fails during the winter. Only 8 homes and the school have functioning plumbing; 74 homes are not served. Individuals dispose of refuse in dumpsters, which are hauled to the landfill.
Buckland’s major means of transportation are plane, small boat, barge, and snowmachine; there are no roads outside of the village. Crowley Marine barges in fuel, and various lighterage companies deliver cargo and supplies each summer.
Borough Assembly Member
Nathan Hadley, Jr.
P.O. Box 83 Buckland, AK 99727