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Dunleavy tells Montana company SITKA Gear to take a hike on its opposition to ANWR oil development


A Montana-based company called “SITKA Gear” is the latest business to be scolded by Gov. Mike Dunleavy for opposing Alaska’s economic underpinning of resource development.

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Dunleavy, in a social media post, told Sitka Gear that he didn’t appreciate its company stance against the leasing of a tiny portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil development.

Dunleavy has also called out some banks and financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, for their refusal to invest in Alaska oil plays on the North Slope. The oil developed in Alaska fuels the state economy and pays for the state services Alaskans enjoy.

Sitka Gear wrote on Facebook that it opposes drilling in ANWR:

“At SITKA, we value ecosystems and believe it’s our duty to speak up when we see steps being taken that threaten priceless wild places such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the largest remaining stretch of wilderness in the United States. We believe that drilling should not be permitted in an area that sustains 187,000 caribou and so much more. The risk posed by drilling for oil and gas is not one to be taken lightly. Please join us in raising our voices, and speaking up for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is an ecosystem that must be protected. There’s no bringing it back once it’s gone. Please consider signing the petition at

The ironies are rich with this one: Sitka Gear has its outdoor wear manufactured in China, and most of it is petroleum-based. It’s doubtful the the workers constructing the gear are covered by labor agreements or workplace safety regulations. Its parent company is based in Delaware but it has offices in more than 25 countries, with manufacturing operations in the U.S., Germany, United Kingdom, China and Japan.

Gore’s founder Bill Gore was posthumously inducted into The Plastics Academy’s Plastics Hall of Fame in 1990. Plastics, of course, made of petroleum.

Anchorage Daily News Opinion Editor Tom Hewitt piled on, goading Must Read Alaska by saying that Dunleavy is participating in cancel culture against an Alaska company, when in fact the company was founded in California and moved to Montana in 2012. Oops.

Sitka Gear was sold to W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., known as the developer of GORE-TEX® Fabrics, in 2009. It is one of the 200 largest privately held companies in America.

(Dunleavy didn’t point out that SITKA Gear is also culturally appropriating an Alaska Tlingit name, even though the company has no roots in Sitka, and no association with Alaska, but we’ll leave that for ADN’s Hewitt to sort out with his woke advisers.)

One responder to SITKA Gear’s manifesto on ANWR wrote: ” I’m sure glad my friend Grey pointed this out. I was looking at buying my hubby a bunch of new gear, and a few things for myself. The area to be developed is .00010% of 19M acres. I don’t spend my money with companies that lie, so bye!”

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. The guy that wrote the Sitka manifesto probably never stepped foot in Alaska, let alone in the ANWR region.

  2. Hewitt must be confusing Sitka with Kryptek. Maybe he can denounce Quaker, another “Alaskan” company, for changing the name of Eskimo Pie.

  3. Not smart of ADN editors to debate MRAK publisher. They are way over their head and it is often not a fair fight. She researches thoroughly before publishing. ADN opinion writer’s knee jerk reactions and more often than not unsupported pieces are just personal opinions by liberal journalists who have an agenda.
    I was thinking of getting some rain gear and had considered Sitka. Not now! And I stopped doing business with G.S. a long time ago.

  4. Notwithstanding the fact that most of their gear is synthetic and made with petroleum products. We should also consider that their gear is made for, and used by, hunters. Hunters shoot animals. The hypocrisy is astounding.

  5. A virtue signaling California company is appropriating culture and a virtue signaling ADN editor doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.


  6. Rich reporting here, Suzanne. Thanks for straight scoop and the li’l insight at the end of the California turned Montana based manufactured in China company appropriating “Sitka,” Alaska for their name branding while admonishing Alaska for drilling for oil in the Arctic.

  7. Sitka’s post announcing their position was full of misinformation (lies?) and four photos that could not have been taken in the Coastal Plain of ANWR. Their ignorance is obvious.

  8. It’s very easy to search up a map that shows the proposed drilling area, inside the coastal plain, inside ANWR, inside Alaska. It’s tiny.
    The benefit to Alaska is not tiny.

  9. Maybe you could post Dunleavy’s rebuke of Tucker Carlson and Don Jr. on their statements about Pebble Mine. Pebble a project on state lands while ANWR is federal. I would expect a more nationwide response. I would of expected more from Dunleavy on issues concerning Alaskan lands.

    • Okay, I realize sarcasm is sometimes difficult to detect in writing. DID Gov. Dunleavy actually contact Tucker Carlson or Trump Jr. about the Pebble Mine? I’m wishing it was true but not sure by your post…

  10. If they are so anti-big oil then I challenge them to go to an oil free business model try running your business without oil

  11. Well written.
    Once again, in a long trail of purulence ADN proves its bias.
    Hewitt needs a ‘refresher’ at the drama school from which he may have matriculated.

  12. Good point about Sitka Gear being made in China, your comment about worker safety and fair wages were spot-on. I might add that worse still is China’s dismal environmental record. Sitka goes to great length to scold the Oil Industry while being a part of a much greater ruination of the Arctic. Turns out that the prevailing winds from CHINA carry heavy toxic metals generated from Chi-Com industry straight to Alaska. Years ago I read an science article about core drilling Ice samples in the Wrangell Mountains. The researcher said that he could date when Agriculture began in China by the dust that suddenly appears in Ice Core Samples. My son who works for a Federal Agency that monitors water sheds tells me that most of N.W. Alaska watersheds have seen spikes of heavy metal counts since the recent industrial growth in China. Perhaps Sitka Gear might want to reconsider it’s silly statements.

  13. Sitka Gear and other of outside mindless ilk – Stay out of Alaska.

    Look at the rot that runs Anchorage today – truly the californication of Anchorage.

  14. I’ve got quite a bit of this Sitka Gear but it’s the original version that was made before it was sold. Their Chinese crap is way too overpriced and doesn’t hold up like the original gear does, I didn’t really need a reason to stop buying their gear made in China but this one is as good as any. And Tom Hewitt should do some research before he spouts off at the mouth, Sitka Gear is not an Alaskan based company.

  15. Lupine,
    You can get the same stuff at Value Village for a nickel on the dollar, without worrying about your money going to the wackos. Let the wackos spend all THEIR money.

  16. They should get rid of the cultural appropriation and drop the Sitka name. They should call it what it is…Xi Ping Gear.

  17. By and large, the (at least in the recent past) confluence of still-quite-high-price with far-less-than-original quality of Sitka Gear worked to keep me from buying it.

    Now another reason not to buy.

  18. LOVED this article. I’m not a hunter but have friends that are fairly hardcore. They don’t understand why that gear is so expensive cause there is nothing special about it. Clearly there is a luxury hunting market in the lower 48.

  19. I also have some of the original Sitka stuff, was good quality, before resorting to the typical American corporate plan, of moving everything to China when able… That is a deal breaker for me. The ‘woke’ corporations operating from China, have to be the dumbest morons on the planet….

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