PALMER, Alaska — For years, pet owners in this Anchorage suburb of big homes and lawns have fretted over snares set in the local parks by fur-trappers going after fox, lynx and rabbits. But in a quiet revolution this spring, dog lovers got the upper hand, and after a series of public meetings where few trappers showed up to fight back, trapping was banned by the borough council. The suburbs had won.
“That part of old Alaska is moving further out into the bush,” said Mike Albright, 44, a business owner who was lounging at a park with his three dogs on a recent afternoon. “It’s a good thing.”…
But many longtime residents, writers and businesspeople here said that the sense of “only in Alaska” exceptionalism underlying this place and its identity for generations is fading. Improvements in communications and transport are shrinking the sense of physical distance. High-speed internet is reaching tiny villages, opening communities and families to greater connection with the outside world for everything including social media and commerce.
Sadly, the rest of the article says little more about suburbs and instead looks at the whole state and the Alaska spirit. Yet, it is interesting that this nature-human interchange is used an example of how the suburbs are changing. This comes up occasionally with American suburbs across the country as some suburbs encroach on natural habitats while other places experience natural adaptation (such as overpopulations of deer or the reemergence of coyotes).
This could also lead to helpful questions of how people would know that Alaska suburbs are truly no different than other American suburbs. Cookie-cutter subdivisions? Little to no open land? A landscape dominated by single-family homes and driving? An emphasis on middle-class family life and excluding those who don’t fit those categories? Given that suburbs today take many forms, it may not be very easy to say Alaska suburbs have finally crossed the line.