An initiative that would restrict interference with salmon habitats by projects like the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay is one step closer to being put before Alaskans this year.

Yes for Salmon submitted more than 40,000 signatures to the state Division of Elections in Anchorage to place its proposal on the state’s Nov. 6 general-election ballot.

Yes for Salmon backers celebrate collecting 49,500 signatures on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 to put an initiative restricting development in salmon habitat on the state ballot. (Rick Rysso/KTVA)

According to its backers’ website, the initiative would formally define characteristics of a healthy river in state law, update state listings of waters which support salmon, requires the state to notify the public of projects which could affect salmon and create salmon-protection standards developers must meet before their projects can move forward.

Initiative opponents Stand for Alaska issued a statement Tuesday claiming the measure is overbroad, vague and poses "a dangerous threat to Alaska’s economy, communities and jobs."

Pebble officials have submitted a revised plan for the mine to federal authorities, featuring roughly half the footprint of a design which wasn't approved under the Obama administration.

Under state law, the Division of Elections has to certify that 10 percent of the people who voted in the state’s last general election – or roughly 32,000 people – signed the salmon proposal.

Rick Rysso contributed information to this story.

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.


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