“Bristol Bay Forever” initiative to appear on ballots Nov. 4

A public initiative that has been challenged all the way to the Alaska State Supreme Court will make its way onto the November 4 ballot, per this Supreme Court order. If passed, the “Bristol Bay Forever” initiative, referenced in the order as “12BBAY,” would “require legislative approval of any large-scale metallic sulfide mining operation within the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve, or which has the potential to adversely affect any anadromous waters within the reserve.”

Public signatures were gathered in 2012 to put the initiative on the ballot, and the petition application was certified as valid by the Lieutenant Governor. Eighteen months of legal challenges followed, with Richard Hughes, the Alaska Miners Association and the Council of Alaska Producers contending that the initiative violates the Alaska State Constitution on three counts.

Yesterday’s expedited decision allows ballots to be prepared with the initiative included. A written opinion explaining the decision will be released at a future date.

Learn More:

Article: Alaska Supreme Court Clears Bristol Bay Initiative for Ballot (APRN, June 23, 2014)

Document: Supreme Court Order

Document: “Bristol Bay Forever” initiative