An IFA ferry in Ketchikan (Courtesy KRBD)

A referendum on the municipal ballot today proposes that Wrangell withdraw from the Inter-Island Ferry Authority, also known as the IFA. The IFA currently runs passenger service between Prince of Wales Island and Ketchikan.

Wrangell’s assembly unanimously approved an ordinance to leave the IFA at an assembly meeting in mid-August. The city has not received IFA ferry service since 2008, when the Coffman Cove ferry–also known as the Northern Route–stopped running.

At that same meeting, the city also noted that per the original IFA charter, Wrangell has had a member of the community or assembly on the IFA board for years, without benefitting from the service. The city made no mention of financial involvement in the IFA, and the original charter has no “buy-in” clause.

The IFA was formed through a referendum in 1997 by voters in Wrangell, Petersburg, and half a dozen communities on Prince of Wales Island.

Petersburg withdrew from the IFA in 2012.

According to the original IFA charter, withdrawal from the authority requires at least two-thirds of the assembly’s approval, and a vote by the public.

No community members spoke at a public hearing on the issue in August.

Get in touch with KSTK at or (907) 874-2345.