Judge overrules Mallott, sides with environmental group on salmon initiative

An Anchorage judge on Monday overruled Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and said a loosely knit group of environmental, fishing and business interests can move ahead with a ballot initiative intended to protect salmon.

The Stand for Salmon group, led by Mike Wood of the Susitna River Coalition, says it wants to rewrite Alaska’s fish habitat law through the ballot measure.

Mallott, state lawyers and a pro-mining group said the measure would effectively appropriate a valuable public resource — water. The Alaska Constitution says appropriation cannot be done by initiative.

The matter ended up in court after Mallott rejected the ballot initiative.

In his 29-page ruling, Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner sided with Stand for Salmon. The state is deciding whether to appeal but that process will take weeks, said Elizabeth Bakalar, an assistant attorney general.

LINK (via: Alaska Dispatch News)

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