Lands in Focus: Local Gravel
Presented by Calista Land & Natural Resources Department
Storyknife, September/October 2023 edition
Managing and developing local rock quarries or gravel pits is one of the ways that Calista’s Land Department works with each and every community in the Y-K Region.
Regardless of their size, nearly all construction projects need a source of rock. One of the key functions of our Land Department is to work with villages and other project developers to provide sand and gravel sales from Calista’s subsurface lands.
“In addition to providing income for Calista and our Shareholders, sourcing gravel from our own land provides local jobs and helps lower the cost of local construction,” says Tisha Kuhns, Calista Vice President of Land and Natural Resources.
60 DAYS’ NOTICE REQUESTED
Some projects involve minor repairs to access roads and house pads, while others are large, costly improvements to airports, roads and ports. Regardless of project size, before the material is excavated from Calista’s subsurface land, the developer needs to enter into a material sale agreement (MSA) with Calista.
MSAs include Calista’s payment of a 30 percent disturbance fee to the surface owner, which is typically a Village Corporation. MSAs for larger projects require insurance, a reclamation plan and bonding.
To help finalize these agreements in time for our Region’s short construction season, Kuhns encourages developers to provide at least 60 days’ advance notice of when the material is needed. Especially for large projects, this will help ensure all approvals are in place—including from a Tribal Council or Village Corporation Board of Directors—in time for the construction season.
LIMITED ROCK SOURCES
Closing the rural infrastructure gap in our Region is one of Calista’s biggest priorities.
One of the challenging aspects is that western Alaska has limited sources for the high-grade rock required to build for airports, roads and ports.
“In addition to providing income for Calista and our Shareholders, sourcing gravel from our own land provides local jobs and helps lower the cost of local construction.”Tisha Kuhns, Calista Vice President of Land and Natural Resources
The Pilcher Mountain quarry project in Marshall is one opportunity to provide a high-grade rock source in the Lower Yukon, versus barging similar material all the way from Nome.
Kuhns points out that the new quarry at Pilcher this summer is supplying material to three Lower Yukon communities this year, including St. Mary’s, Russian Mission and Marshall.
“We’re excited about the relationships we’ve built in Marshall, and the local jobs we’ve been able to provide in all three communities this summer,” Kuhns said.
For more information on sand and gravel sales, and to notify Calista about upcoming projects, please contact Calista_land@calistacorp.com or call 907-275-2800.