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Buffalo Soapstone

Buffalo Soapstone

Browse Locations Buffalo Soapstone


Buffalo Soapstone

Current Population:                                           876   (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)

Incorporation Type:                                           Unincorporated

Located In:                                                         Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Taxes:                                                                Sales: None, Property: 10.35 mills (borough); excludes service area taxes, Special: 5% Bed Tax (Borough); 5.29% Tobacco Excise Tax (Borough)

National Flood Insurance Program Participant: Yes



Location and Climate

Buffalo Soapstone is located on Moose Creek Road, directly north of Palmer and Farm Loop, west of the Glenn Highway. It lies west of Moose Creek and Buffalo Creek. The community lies at approximately 61.717770° North Latitude and -149.098350° West Longitude.  (Sec. 21, T019N, R002E, Seward Meridian.)   Buffalo Soapstone is located in the Palmer Recording District.

The average temperatures in January range from 4 to 21 °F. In July, the average temperature range is 44 to 67 °F. Annual precipitation averages 16.5 inches, and annual snowfall averages 50 inches.


History, Culture and Demographics

The sites of Baxter Mine, Buffalo Mine, Matanuska Sinner Mine, and Premier Mine are located in the area. The Mat-Su Borough was established as a planned agricultural colony. 203 families, mostly from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, were relocated to Alaska in the early summer of 1935. Many of their descendants still live in the Mat-Su Valley today. Low housing costs, the semi-rural lifestyle, and a reasonable commute to Anchorage have supported growth in the Mat-Su Valley.

The area is primarily a non-Native settlement. Students are bused to schools in Palmer.

According to Census 2010, there were 375 housing units in the community and 314 were occupied. Its population was 3.3 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 84.1 percent white; 1.6 percent black; 0.5 percent Asian; 0.2 percent Pacific Islander; 9.9 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 3.2 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.


Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

About three-fourths of households have individual wells and septic systems. Refuse is disposed of at the borough landfill in Palmer or other transfer sites. One is available at mile 2 of Willow-Fishhook Road. Electricity is provided by Matanuska Electric Association. There are schools located in the community,  Local hospitals or health clinics include Valley Hospital in Palmer or Anchorage hospitals.



Many residents are employed in Palmer, Wasilla, or Anchorage. The university has an Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Office and a district Cooperative Extension Service office in Palmer. The University's Matanuska Research Farm is also located in Palmer.

The 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated 3621 residents as employed. The public sector employed 31.2%1 of all workers. The local unemployment rate was 2.7%1. The percentage of workers not in labor force was 32.1%1. The ACS surveys established that average median household income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $72,500 (MOE +/-$35,456)1. The per capita income (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $36,843 (MOE +/-$8,744)1. About 1.3%1 of all residents had incomes below the poverty level. 




Buffalo Soapstone is located off of the Glenn Highway. Commercial airlines serve the Anchorage International Airport, but the Palmer Municipal Airport supports private and chartered services. There are seven additional privately-owned airstrips in the vicinity. Float planes may land at nearby Finger Lake or Wolf Lake. The Alaska Railroad connects Palmer to Whittier, Seward, or Anchorage for ocean freight delivery.

Organizations with Local Offices

Community Non Profit - Buffalo Soapstone Community Council
14350 Canyon Dr
Palmer, AK 99645
Phone 907-746-0410

Electric Utility - Matanuska Electric Association, Incorporated
P.O. Box 2929
Palmer, AK 99645
Phone 907-761-9328


Regional Organizations

School District - Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
501 N. Gulkana
Palmer, AK 99645
Phone 907-746-9255
Fax 907-761-4076

Regional Native Corporation - Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated
P.O. Box 93330
Anchorage, AK 99509-3330
Phone 907-274-8638
Fax 907-263-5182

Regional Native Health Corporation - Southcentral Foundation
4501 Diplomacy
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone 907-729-4955
Fax 907-729-4972

Regional Native Non-Profit - Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Incorporated
3600 San Jeronimo Dr
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone 907-793-3600
Fax 907-793-3602


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