Alaska’s Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot delivered a big blow to salmon advocates this week when he denied an application to put a voter initiative on the 2018 statewide ballot that would have tightened the state’s permitting requirements for development projects with the potential to impact salmon streams.
“Minor” habitat permits could be issued quickly and generally for projects deemed to have an insignificant impact on salmon waters.
“Major” permits for larger projects such as mines, dams and anything determined to potentially have a significant impact on salmon-bearing waters would require the project sponsor to prove the project would not damage salmon habitat.
Additionally, the project sponsor would have to prove that impacted waters are not salmon habitat during any stage of the fish life cycle if the waters are connected to proven salmon habitat in any way but not yet listed in the state’s Anadromous Waters Catalog.
The lieutenant governor’s primary responsibility in Alaska is to manage state elections. And in this case, he denied the application on the grounds that the initiative would strip the Legislature of its power to allocate resources — in this case salmon habitat — and thus violate the Alaska Constitution.
LINK (via: Alaska Journal of Commerce)