An initiative that would add another roadblock to the Pebble Mine project will appear on the ballot this fall, now that a legal challenge against it has failed.
The Alaska Supreme Court issued an expedited order on Monday saying that the Bristol Bay Forever initiative was constitutional. The order comes less than two weeks after the justices heard the case. The lawsuit was brought by a coalition of mining groups, who believe the initiative is invalid because it only regulates mining in one part of the state. The Alaska Constitution does not allow statewide initiatives to deal with local matters.
But initiative sponsors and the Alaska Division of Elections defended the ballot proposition, which would require the Legislature to approve large-scale mining operations in the Bristol Bay region. They argued that the health of that watershed and its salmon fishery is an issue of statewide importance.
The Supreme Court still has to issue a formal opinion explaining their judgment, but the two-page order allows the Division of Elections to go ahead with preparing the November 4 ballot.
- However, the Juneau Police Department continues to take anonymous drops in its lobby during regular business hours Monday through Friday.
- "Suffice to say Alaska, the massive state with such a small population, might have a bigger influence on the selection for the Republican nominee for the presidency, than you might think," said GOP Chairman Peter Goldberg.
- The first sighting of wood bison calves born in the wild could mean big changes in the ecosystem of western Alaska.
- The aspiring distiller behind Skagway Spirits hopes to open its doors this year, and to be bottling and fully open for business by next summer.