The “Alaska Heritage Campaign” is Really Just an Outside-Based Eco Group

The “Alaska Heritage Campaign” is Really Just an Outside-Based Eco Group

July 21, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, ads started appearing on a variety of mainstream and online media sites, directing viewers to join the fight against the Pebble Mine by going to  Once there, options include being able to see the coalition behind the site.  There are the usual anti-Pebble folks (NRDC, SalmonState and others), as well as an organization that was new: The Alaska Heritage Campaign.

Having not heard of them before, Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck dove into their organization, first looking at their mission statement (“Protect Alaska”) and their body of work.  Typical eco-extremist stuff: Stopping Pebble Mine by playing “a coordinating role in the fight to save Bristol Bay.”

Next, the Campaign’s two “Staff” were reviewed.  Here’s where things got interesting. Neither of them are from Alaska, and neither live here now.  Shoren Brown previously worked with the Alaska Wilderness League (a well-known group of eco-zealots whose anti-development bent is radical in nature) and Trout Unlimited Alaska, the driving force behind the “Save Bristol Bay”  movement (think of that the next time you renew your TU membership, everyone!).  Brown also worked with eco groups to stop responsible development in ANWR, and now lives in Montana, according to his staff profile with the progressive DC consulting firm, STG.

A former STG colleague of Brown’s, Sam McCullough, has “spent the last several years of his career serving conservation clients across the country as a political communications consultant”, according to the Campaign’s website.  McCullough has spent time working for Democratic Congresswoman Betty McCollum (who is notorious for holding up a mining project in her home district that would employ hundreds of Minnesotans), as well as for the Minnesota Democratic-Farm-Labor Party.  Sounds like McCollum’s roots are in Minnesota, not Alaska.

The Alaska Heritage Campaign may sound home-grown, but with outside staff, and six-figure funding from well-known, Lower-48-based eco-donors such as the New Venture Fund, whose bidding is the Campaign really doing?

Power The Future believes in the science behind the Pebble EIS, which has been run through a complete and thorough process, with the final EIS due to be released later this month.  The science so far has said that fishing and mining will coexist without danger, and that the 1,000 full-time jobs Pebble will bring to the Lake and Peninsula Borough will be a tremendous boost to the region.