NEWS: Praise for Court Victory Allowing Salmon Habitat Ballot Measure to Go Forward
Reps. Josephson Pleased Alaskans Will Be Allowed to Decide the Issue at the Polls
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2017
Anchorage – Earlier today, a Superior Court judge issued a ruling allowing the “Stand for Salmon” ballot measure to move forward through the initiative process. The ruling requires the Alaska Lieutenant Governor to certify the initiative and allows proponents to begin collecting signatures. The purpose of the proposed ballot measure is to update state statutes to protect Alaska’s vital and nearly pristine salmon habitat.
“The once abundant salmon stocks in Scotland and New England were decimated because of short-sighted decisions that resulted in massive habitat loss. I stand with the thousands of Alaskans determined not to let that happen in Alaska,” said Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage), Co-Chair of the House Resources Committee.
Last month, Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott declined to certify the “Stand for Salmon” initiative after receiving a legal opinion that the initiative would limit the ability of the Alaska Legislature to allocate state assets. Trustees for Alaska took the decision to court and earlier today Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner issued his ruling allowing the initiative process to proceed.
“Alaska is synonymous with wild salmon, and that should never change. Keeping our abundant salmon stocks healthy requires diligence and adherence to the best practices to protect habitat. The Save our Salmon initiative does just that while still allowing the Alaska Department of Fish and Game the freedom to determine the specifics of how habitat protections will work and what they will look like,” said Rep. Josephson.
Rep. Josephson is the cosponsor of legislation to update Alaska’s fish habitat protection and permitting law, which has not been updated since statehood. The “Stand for Salmon” initiative would update the law in a similar fashion to House Bill 199.
For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.