Annual Meeting Date Changed To October 2nd – 6:00 PM

P. O. Box 1301

Bethel, AK. 99559

Ph: (907)543-2887(Bet.) / (907)222-5058 or 222-6084 (Nap.)

(907) 545-2877 (Cell)




2012 Annual Meeting Schedule Change:


Due to scheduling conflicts and to better coordinate with the 2012 AVCP Convention, the Native Village of Napaimute Annual Meeting has been moved back a day.

The 2012 Native Village of Napaimute Annual Meeting will be held at the Allanivik Hotel Conference Room, 1220 State Highway in Bethel on October 2, 2012 beginning with a potluck dinner at 6 PM.

The meeting will start after the meal.     All tribal members and Napaimute community members are welcome to attend.

Please bring a dish.

There will be cash door prize drawings for those who attend in person.

Thank you.

Forestry Progress In Napaimute

Bark beetle larva

Calculating tree heights

Eric ages a 150 year old tree

Ben points out a beetle damaged area


Real Progress Is Being Made


A total of 5 foresters representing several organizations have visited Napaimute this summer to observe our timber harvesting operation and to provide technical assistance. This might be some kind of record for forester visits to a community – especially for the Middle Kuskokwim.

Most recently, Rick Jandreau from the State of Alaska Division of Forestry and Ben Seifert and Eric Geisler with BLM Alaska spent 3 days with us. It was, once again, very rewarding to spend time with professional people with vast expertise in the field of forestry. Many things were learned during these 3 days that can be applied to future timber harvests in the Middle Kuskokwim by Napaimute personnel.

The first day the three foresters spent observing our timber operation. We were fortunate that there was a barge in Napaimute to pick up wood so they got to see the end product of all our work: barge loads of locally harvested wood heading for customers on the Coast. Later, they spent time with Administration reviewing draft timber sales agreements our Council is currently considering. Since this was the first time Napaimute’s leadership has looked at a timber sales agreement for areas beyond tribally-owned lands, their input was especially valuable.

The second day they observed the actual timber harvest and spent time talking with our crew about ways to improve the harvest and how to better manage the slash (branches, brush, etc.) for better natural regeneration. The remainder of the day was spent looking at additional parcels available for timber harvest in the immediate Napaimute area.

Day 3 was long day on the River and in the woods as we all traveled downriver to look at potential timber harvest  parcels on State and BLM land. Working side by side with the Foresters, our Environmental Director and I learned much about our forest resources that we weren’t aware of before. We learned how to calculate the volume of timber per acre by doing a 1/10 acre sample plot – trees in this relatively small area are counted and their diameters and heights are measured. Comparing this small sample to aerial photographs, foresters can accurately determine the volume of timber over a particular area. In addition, they aged some of the trees to examine their health and to determine where they are in their life span (many were at least 150 years old).

We also learned to recognize the signs of bark beetles attacking spruce trees; numerous trees were observed with bark beetle damage in each of the different areas we covered.

All in all these were very valuable days as our knowledge about the Middle Kuskokwim forest resources grew and will result in better manage of our local resources.

We sincerely appreciate the time Rick, Ben, and Eric spent with us.

Thank you.

Bark beetle damage

Measuring diameter



2nd Load Of Logs Heading For The Coast

Napaimute’s logging crew was  busy on August 13 & 14 loading its second shipment of  firewood bound for the coast onto several barges.

Placing a bundle on the deck of the barge

Taking a well deserved lunch break away from the hot sun (that hasn't been seen all summer!)


Mark Leary and Pete Kelila discuss Napaimute's operation with State and BLM foresters

State and BLM foresters look over a harvest unit


Mark discussing future options for timber on non-tribal lands with State & BLM foresters

2012 Annual Meeting & Notice of Election

2012 Annual Meeting & Notice of Election:

The 2012 Native Village of Napaimute Annual Meeting will be held in Bethel on October 1, 2012:

Location to be announced.

The 2012 Napaimute Traditional Council Elections will be held during the Annual Meeting.

For 2012 there is one seat open for election:

Seat A, currently held by Brook Kristovich

Tribal Members 18 years of age or older who are interested in running for this seat must submit a written statement of their intent to run to the Traditional Council no later than August 31, 2012.

Please do not nominate other people for this seat. Only submit a Statement of Intent-to-Run if you are interested in running yourself. Include a 50 word minimum essay on why you are running.

Statements may be emailed to:

(Snail mail is OK, too)

Thank you.

Building An Economy Out Of Kuskokwim River Wood

Building an Economy Out of Wood*:

It’s a well know fact along the Kuskokwim that Napaimute has been in the wood business for over a decade. This includes the production of lumber, cabin packages, and firewood.

Napaimute, after all, means the “People of the Trees”. Our leadership has long recognized that Napaimute’s timber resources will be a key component of economic development for the community in particular, and the Middle Kuskokwim, in general. This is formally recognized on pages 48 and 51 of the Napaimute Community Plan (2004) and concrete steps have been taken to fulfill this economic development goal for Napaimute.

In 2008, Napaimute established the first organized firewood business in the region. In the years since, many hundreds of cords of both packaged split wood and round logs have been exported by barge from Napaimute to the Lower River and Coast. This was a sincere effort to provide a more affordable alternative energy source for our neighbors downriver as we all continue to suffer under the skyrocketing costs of heating oil in rural Alaska.

It didn’t take long for Napaimute to realize the true and great demand for firewood in the Lower River and Coast and although we continue to increase production annually, we simply cannot produce enough solely through the harvest of timber on Napaimute’s lands.

In 2010, we began advertising to the People in the other Middle Kuskokwim Villages that we would purchase wood from them. This was an attempt to increase the supply of wood, while at the same time providing a source of good income for the People of the Middle and Upper River.

Our purchase price for wood is based on what it costs us to harvest a cord of wood on Napaimute’s own land. As the price of fuel rises annually, so does the price we offer for the purchase of wood. It does take fuel to harvest wood, no matter how you do it: with heavy equipment, by boat, or snow machine.

Thus as fuel prices increase so must the price of wood, but the burning of wood versus heating oil will always be a substantial savings for the People or we (Napaimute) wouldn’t be in the firewood business. It’s not just about making money. It’s about helping to provide a more affordable heating source to the People of the Lower River and Coast, while at the same time providing economic opportunities for the People in the Middle and Upper River.

Napaimute is the perfect “middleman” for the development of a timber industry along the Kuskokwim. The supply is Upriver. The demand is Downriver. Napaimute lives with a leg in both. We know the Land and the People along the entire River. For convenience we maintain an office in Bethel during part of the winter where we have equipment for handling wood and a place to store it. We also have an established customer base throughout Bethel and the many outlying villages that continues to expand each winter.

Each summer the volume of wood purchased at Napaimute has also grown. In June and July of 2012, fourteen Middle Kuskokwim residents have delivered just over 130 cords of firewood to Napaimute. Some bring just a couple of cords at a time and go home with a few hundred dollars. Other more ambitious loggers have brought large multi-cord rafts that have netted them several thousands.

Upriver People float the wood to Napaimute – just a long day’s float for most of the villages above us. Once they arrive, we pull the logs out, cut, measure, and immediately pay them for the wood. If it’s late we have a nice place for the loggers to stay where they can shower, wash clothes, watch TV, and even get on the Internet before heading home the following day. Often times, we even feed them.

With the potential for long-term contracts to supply high volumes of firewood to the Lower River and Coast, this is a source of wood that we hope to continue to develop. As a consistent, reliable group of loggers is established from the villages above us, Napaimute will work with them to increase their efficiency through improved equipment, more cost effective supply procurement, and transportation assistance.

We look forward to building an economy out of wood with our Middle Kuskokwim neighbors.

Thank you.

Mark Leary and the Napaimute Logging Crew

*The Native Village of Napaimute does not promote the cutting of wood on private land (TKC or Native Allotments). All wood purchased by Napaimute will be drift wood or timber harvested by permit on State land.

Vernon Zaukar and crew deliver logs from the Sleetmute area

Devil's Elbow raft which is 3-layers deep

Raft of very nice wood from near the Swift River

Pulling upriver logs from the water and measuring prior to payment

The harvester processing logs delivered from upriver



4th Of July Fun In Napaimute

Let The Fireworks Begin - Mark Leary Sets Off Bottle Rockets - The First Of Many

They Came From Upriver And Down

Waiting For The Real Fireworks

Nothin' Like Sitting Around The Campfire Till The Wee Hours Of The Morning Roasting Marshmallows

When The Clock Struck Midnight The Real Fireworks Began - But This Far North It Still Isn't Dark Enough!

More Campfire Time

And After The Fireworks The Moon Came Up

And Logan, Brianna & Mary Had A Ball On The Trampoline

And More Fun

What A Night It Was

4-Year Old Logan Laraux Had More Fun Than Anyone



May 12 – Saturday Update – My Last From Napaimute Till Next Year

Woke up to some fresh snow and very little ice passing by – more wood than ice.  The water level hasn’t changed much in the past few days.

Eric Morgan Jr. will come up tonight by boat and take me back to Aniak where I’ll have to stay until I can cross the slough, hopefully in a day or two, until I can get across to my apartment.

Looking upstream at a peaceful and serene Kuskokwim

Looking downstream over the basketball court dusted with fresh snow