Salmon habitat advocates submit signatures for ballot item

MGN PHOTO: Salmon underwater
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Those in favor of strengthening Alaska's salmon habitat have submitted about 50,000 signatures in an attempt to get an initiative dubbed "Yes For Salmon" on the 2018 ballot.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports that the signatures collected by the nonprofit Stand for Salmon had been given to the Division of Elections Anchorage on Tuesday.

The initiative faces opposition from industry groups and the state, but had a small win on Tuesday when the Bristol Bay Native Corp. revised its stance on the initiative from against to neutral.

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott rejected the initiative in September, saying the state's lawyers decided it would appropriate Alaska's water resources for salmon habitat. Mallott's ruling was appealed and overturned in Superior Court and oral arguments in the state's appeal are set for April.