“Pro-Fish” Group is Blatantly Un-Alaskan

“Pro-Fish” Group is Blatantly Un-Alaskan

October 26, 2022

With two weeks to go before Alaskans go to the polls, an anti-mining group has decided to play games with our electorate.

Late last week, ads began popping up with excruciating repetition on social media, as well as over radio and streaming services, touting the “pro fish” credentials of incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski and current Congresswoman Mary Peltola.

A picture containing text, newspaper, screenshot

Description automatically generated

Let’s be clear: there isn’t an Alaskan I know of who doesn’t enjoy and appreciate Alaska’s abundant fishery.  From subsistence and recreational fishing to the jobs and revenues from commercial fishing (even though most of the permits and executive-level jobs are held by Lower-48 residents instead of Alaskans), fish have played a key role in sustaining Alaskans for thousands of years.

But a closer look at the group beyond the ads should concern all Alaskans.  Alaskans for Bristol Bay Action is an obvious front group for Save Bristol Bay, the ‘local’ organization funded by Trout Unlimited, who has spent tens of millions of dollars to oppose the Pebble prospect in Southwest Alaska.

Looking at the two groups’ websites, the mission statements are nearly identical, the call to action is eerily similar and the vitriol against Pebble is clear.  The only thing different?  The outright call to elect candidates they see as anti-Pebble pawns in their ongoing war.

The money being spent to influence voters is a direct attack on the trillion-dollar project, billions of dollars in state royalties, over 700 jobs, a domestic supply of much-needed copper and a continued smackdown against the Alaska Natives closest to the proposed mine, who incidentally support the Pebble project because of the jobs and enhancements its development would bring to the nearby villages.

As Alaskans, each of us should understand the critical nature of a balance between responsible development and environmental stewardship.  Voting for “pro fish” candidates should mean that you can choose from any candidate running for office. 

Voting for “anti-equal-opportunity” candidates – as Alaskans for Bristol Bay Action is pushing in its ads – is blatantly un-Alaskan.