Supreme Court parses, approves salmon habitat measure for ballot

posted by Michael Ortega - 

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The Alaska Supreme Court approved most, but not all, of the contentious ballot initiative aimed at strengthening the state’s salmon habitat protections in a decision issued Wednesday morning, meaning the initiative will be on the November ballot sans one key provision.

The five-member court unanimously ruled that language in the proposed law change requiring the Department of Fish and Game Commissioner to deny permit applications for development in salmon habitat if the activity were deemed to have a “significant adverse effect” is an unconstitutional limitation on the Legislature’s authority to appropriate the state’s resources.

That’s because the language would mandate the state to value anadromous fish habitat over other resources, according to the justices — a balancing act that the Alaska Constitution specifically reserves for the Legislature.

Supreme Court parses, approves salmon habitat measure for ballot

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