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In Another Loss for Local Control, Alaska Supreme Court Says Voters Can’t Ban Mining

July 27, 2015

July 23, 2015

by Noel Brinkerhoff

Supporters of an anti-mining initiative in Alaska have lost their battle with the state Supreme Court, which threw out the local effort to protect salmon populations. The Save Our Salmon initiative, approved by voters in 2011, would have halted a mining project in Lake and Peninsula Borough by giving local officials the power to veto projects approved by the state Department of Natural Resources. But the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that said the initiative violated state law.

“This stands in stark contrast to other resource development permitting processes, which compare the adverse impacts of a project with potential mitigation measures,” the court said in its ruling. “As a result, the borough’s permitting standard is now more stringent than the state’s.”

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