Alaska coastal management initiative given go-ahead for signature collection
By Al Ortiz
JUNEAU, Alaska: The hard work now begins for supporters of an initiative that would establish a new coastal management program in Alaska. The Alaska Elections Division, along with the Department of Law, took 60 days to review and approve the initiative for signature gathering, leaving a small window for supporters to collect the required 25,875 signatures for ballot access.
The deadline to do so is January 17, 2012. According to Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar, when commenting on the lengthy review of the initiative: “The full 60 days allowed by law was required to give the bill the due diligence necessary."
Alaska is the only coastal state in the country without a federal coastal management plan, according to reports. Coastal programs are established to guarantee state and local participation in federal decisions on coastal issues that could potentially surface.