Initiative to protect salmon habitat on track to make ballot

MGN PHOTO: Salmon underwater
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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Division of Elections says an initiative aimed at protecting salmon habitat has cleared a significant hurdle on its track to making a November state election ballot.

The Juneau Empire reports that the division on Tuesday said it is currently reviewing each of Stand for Salmon's 43,706 signatures. To pass the review, Stand for Salmon needs only 32,127 signatures or 10 percent of those who voted in the previous general election.

As of Tuesday, 38,694 signatures were verified.

The initiative would create a more stringent permitting process for development projects on salmon habitat in Alaska.

Opponents say the initiative is bad for business, while supports say they're streamlining a 60-year-old law in an attempt to protect Alaska salmon.