ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska officials say the ballot initiative that aims to strengthen state law protecting salmon habitat could be costly and delay infrastructure projects.

The state officials noted the possible negative effects during the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting last week in Anchorage.

Ben White, the environmental program manager for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, told lawmakers the initiative would increase the number of streams that officials must assume have salmon, likely resulting in more state checks on the streams.

Ron Benkert, a habitat coordinator for the state Department of Fish and Game, told the committee that the state would need to hire people to enforce the regulations, likely costing more than $1 million annually for at least five years.

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