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Lt. Gov. Treadwell Certifies Bristol Bay Initiative


December 23, 2013, Anchorage, AK – Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell today certified the citizen initiative 12BBAY, “An Act providing for Protection of Bristol Bay Wild Salmon and Waters Within or Flowing Into the Existing 1972 Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.” The Division of Elections completed its review of signatures and determined they meet constitutional and statutory requirements for initiative petitions.  Treadwell notified the primary sponsor of the petition, John Holman of King Salmon, AK, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House.

The lieutenant governor signed the certificate after consultation with the Division of Elections, which determined the signature booklets included a sufficient number of sponsor signatures, and the Department of Law, which concluded that the proposed bill is in the proper form under Article XI of the Alaska Constitution and AS 15.45.

Under AS 15.45.190, if the Alaska State Legislature does not pass ‘substantially similar’ legislation next session, the initiative will appear on ballot of the August 19, 2014 Primary Election, which is next statewide general, special, or primary election that is held 120 days after a legislative session has convened and adjourned.

For all citizen initiatives to appear on the ballot, the lieutenant governor must conduct two public hearings in each of the four judicial districts at least 30 days before the election.

This bill would require the legislature to approve future large-scale metallic sulfide mines in the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve (BBFR) by passing a law. The law would have to find that any proposed mine would not endanger the BBFR fishery. The approval would be in addition to any other required permits or authorizations. The bill defines “large-scale metallic sulfide mining operation” as “a specific mining proposal to extract metals, including gold and copper, from sulfide-bearing rock and that would directly disturb 640 or more acres of land.” The bill lets the Department of Natural Resources adopt regulations.

Final certification documents are available online.

The official certificate: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-Notice.pdf

The letter to the sponsor: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-Sponsor.pdf

The letter to the Senate President: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-Senate.pdf

The letter to the Speaker of the House: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-House.pdf

The estimate of costs to the State of Alaska for the implementation of the initiative: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-CostEstimate.pdf

The petition statistics report prepared by the Division of Elections: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-SignatureVerification.pdf

The memorandum to the Division of Elections: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-Elections.pdf

The Attorney General opinion regarding the application: https://3f.ltgov.alaska.gov/treadwell_media/initiatives/12BBAY-AG-Opinion.pdf

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