Alaska Fisheries Conservation Act (2008)

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The 07FISH is an initiated state statute to restore fisheries conservation and habitat protection functions to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game."[1]

Overview

When in office Gov. Frank Murkowski moved the Habitat Division to the Department of Natural Resources. This was seen as moving the department in a pro-development orientation, instead of its previous station with the conservation oriented Fish and Game Department. When first in office, Gov. Sara Palin considered moving it back but feared it would cause too much disruption.[2]

The sponsors also want the initiative to help with protesting development of a mine at Pebble which has large deposits of copper, gold and molybdenum near Lake Iliamna. The legislature tried to pass legislative bills to deal with opposition of the development like HB 41, which transfered the project to the Fish and Game Depart and others that would have addressed the issue. None of the bills had much movement which prompted the initiatives.

Proponents

Primary Sponsors: Bobby Andrew, Evan Wonhola, Sharon Clark.

Citizens, like Anders Gustafson, a fishing guide in the region, say that the coalition is acting on behalf of concerned citizens in the area. This is especially true for those in the area that run fishing lodges, like money manager Robert B. Gillam which are actively fighting Pebble project.

"Wild salmon and clean water should be more important to Alaskans than gold and copper. Renewable resources should always trump nonrenewable ones," said Richard Jameson, director of Renewable Resources Coalition.[3]

The measure would create standards and amounts for metallic industries to follow.

Overview

The initiative began over protesting development of a mine at Pebble which has large deposits of copper, gold and molybdenum near Lake Iliamna. The legislature tried to pass legislative bills to deal with opposition of the development like HB 41, which transfered the project to the Fish and Game Depart and others that would have addressed the issue. None of the bills had much movement which prompted the initiatives. Unlike legislation, state initiatives are not allowed to specifically address an issue and thus if passed will have a lasting impact on the mining community in Alaska.

Proponents

Primary Sponsors include Arthur J. Hackney, Dale E. Wagner, Mark A. Niver. The sponsors are part of the Renewable Resources Coalition which is also sponsoring the Pollution Zone Act and the Clean Water Act. The coalition was formed in 2005 to fight the development of the Pebble project.

Citizens, like Anders Gustafson, a fishing guide in the region, say that the coalition is acting on behalf of concerned citizens in the area. This is especially true for those in the area that run fishing lodges, like money manager Robert B. Gillam which are actively fighting Pebble project.

"Wild salmon and clean water should be more important to Alaskans than gold and copper. Renewable resources should always trump nonrenewable ones," said Richard Jameson, director of Renewable Resources.[4]

Opposition

The Resource Development Council for Alaska is opposed to the initiative[5]

The Alaska Miner Association

The Council of Alaska Producers

Status

  • September 10, 2007: Application was received in the Lieutenant Governor's Office.
  • September 12, 2007: A copy of the application and signatures were sent to the Department of Law and Division of Elections[6]
  • Currently: The initiative was filed and is working to collect enough valid signatures by the petition deadline.

See also

References