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High Court Clears Way for Bristol Bay Initiative

Published On: Jun 24 2014 01:20:15 PM AKDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 01:20:00 PM AKDT
ANCHORAGE -

The Alaska Supreme Court has cleared the way for an initiative that would require legislative approval for major mining operations in the Bristol Bay watershed, like the proposed Pebble Mine.

The court issued a brief order Monday, after hearing arguments June 11. It plans a more expansive order, explaining its reasoning, later.

In January 2013, a lawsuit was filed over certification of the "Bristol Bay Forever" initiative. The measure would require legislative approval for metallic sulfide mining operations within the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve that disturb at least 640 acres of land.

The court found the measure didn't violate constitutional provisions.

The initiative is scheduled for the November ballot.

An attorney for the plaintiffs say his clients are disappointed and will likely return to court if the initiative is enacted.