PALMER — The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly on Tuesday night approved a new trapping ordinance banning traps and snares in popular parks, after removing two state-owned parks mistakenly placed on a list of prohibited areas.
That means Mat-Su joins numerous communities around Alaska that already regulate trapping.
Several thousand people signed a petition asking for prohibitions here. Trailside traps meant to catch fur-bearing animals like lynx and fox are also catching pet dogs in increasingly suburban parts of the Mat-Su, where the population now tops 100,000 people.
The Assembly originally approved an ordinance banning trapping at eight parks in early March but then pulled back to reconsider. A flurry of last-minute amendments had added two parks — Matanuska Lake and Reflections Lake — that the borough didn't own, officials learned the day after the vote.
The Assembly on Tuesday amended the new trapping ordinance to remove those two parks from the list of places where the ban applies.
The ordinance was unopposed by the Assembly members present at the meeting. The borough lost phone connection with Wasilla representative Steve Colligan, participating remotely, so he did not have a vote recorded, according to Clerk Lonnie McKechnie. Colligan said during comments at the end of the meeting that he would have voted no, McKechnie said.
The new ordinance applies in the following places: Crevasse Moraine; Lazy Mountain Recreation Area; Matanuska River Park; Alcantra Athletic Complex; West Bodenburg Butte, and Jordan Lake Park in Big Lake.