Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Alaska Delegation Gives CDQ Program Thumbs Up

Alaska’s congressional delegation has made clear its support of the existing Community Development Quota program and says any proposals for change brought to them will need unanimous support from all six CDQ groups.

Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, said in their recent letter to the Western Alaska Community Development Association that they applaud the work done to date by the CDQ groups.

“The job growth and economic activity created by the program is a testament to your hard work and dedication to the program’s vision as established in 1992,” said the letter to Aggie Blandford, executive director of the association.

The 2006 amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act stabilized allocations between the groups and created the Western Alaska Community Development Association, so the program is now on firm footing, they said. 
“While we remain open to hearing from the CDQ groups, we expect any issue brought to us for resolution to be supported unanimously by all six groups before seeking congressional action to further improve the program,” they said.

The letter came in response to meetings that representatives of the CDQ groups have been having with members of Congress.

The five CDQ groups that favor the current allocations include Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, Norton Sound Economic Development Corp., and the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association.

Coastal Villages Region Fund, which represents 20 of the 65 CDQ villages, issued a statement in September 2012 vowing to continue to seek changes to the allocation of fisheries resources, to correct what CVRF alleges are flawed allocations.

CVRF spokesman Dawson Hoover said that CVRF was disappointed by the letter, but was not planning to give up its effort to have changes made in the CDQ allocations.

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