ANCHORAGE (AP) An initiative petition that seeks to prohibit bear baiting has been approved by Lt. Gov. Loren Leman.
If voters approve the initiative, Alaskans would be prohibited from baiting or intentionally feeding bears.
The petition sponsors include Lowell Thomas Jr., George Pollard and John Erickson.
Alaska is one of nine states to allow bear baiting, which involves leaving human food or another attractant out to tempt bears while a hunter lies in wait.
The issue received national attention this month when a Virginia congressman's bill to ban bear baiting on federal land attracted the wrath of Alaska Congressman Don Young. Young said the decision should be left to states.
The Division of Elections will prepare and print numbered petition booklets for circulation. Sponsors will need at least 23, 286 qualified signatures in at least 27 election districts to place the initiative on the 2004 ballot.
On the Net:
Division of Elections: (http://www.gov.state.ak.us/ltgov/elections/petitions/03bear.htm)
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