Alaska Supreme Court says state must pay salmon initiative’s legal fees

Adult sockeye salmon encounter a waterfall on their way up river to spawn.

Adult sockeye salmon encounter a waterfall on their way up river to spawn. The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday said the state government has to pay legal fees for the Stand for Salmon ballot iniative that failed last year. (Photo by Marvina Munch/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The Alaska Supreme Court said the state government has to pay legal fees for the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative that failed last year. 

The fees resulted from a court case over whether the initiative should have been certified to be on the ballot. It was intended to increase salmon habitat protections.

Former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott didn’t certify it, saying it violated the state constitution. Stand for Salmon sued. 

The court ruled in favor of Stand for Salmon over two portions of the initiative. It rejected another portion. And it ruled last year each side had to pay its own legal costs. 

Stand for Salmon asked the court to reconsider, and the court said Friday it could recover its fees for the portions of the lawsuit it won, but not on the portion it lost.  

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