CDQ 101


We are  approaching the  first decennial  review of CDQ entities after  2006 changes to the law governing the Community Development Quota program and entities took effect.

UgaVic and I hope to talk about a number of the issues surrounding CDQs and the upcoming review in the coming weeks.

We thought it might be best to start  with a very basic overview of the CDQ program- to refresh the memory of those who know about it already, as well as   provide a framework for those who have never heard of it.

Setting the blade on high and risking leaving some very rough patches as I blaze over the subject but hoping to be somewhat inclusive of any folks who have never heard of CDQs I will make a flying run at it all.
CDQ, Community Development Quota , is the federal legislative response to concern by small communities on the Bering Sea in relation to their ability to partake in the catch share programs in federal waters off the coast they live on.
The law established that a percentage of  yearly allowable catch , in multiple fisheries, be set aside for these villages who could not and would not be eligible for shares under the rules established for allocation of shares otherwise because of their historical lack of presence in the fisheries . (Their lack of presence , the whys, hows, and wherefores is a piece of the whole but needs a post by itself) )
Six regional non-profits were organized to manage the monies derived from the profits the sales of the set aside quota made. The ones I’ve had occasion to cross paths with are organized as 501(c)(4)s -social welfare-but I have never checked to see if all six are. Member villages  have representatives in the regional corporations. Each CDQ entity has bylaws governing how those representatives are chosen.
As often happens, the term CDQ began to stand for the organizations themselves as well as the program  so there’s a lot of flinging around of the term which gets confusing.
The law required that all CDQs have Community Development Plans and limited investments , outside of monies earmarked for education opportunities for stakeholders in their villages, to fishery infrastructure and support related projects.
It also required yearly state oversight of the CDPs to see if  intent and reality matched
Within a few years , some of the CDQs started fishing their own quota rather than receiving the monies  from sale of their quota, by investing as partners in other companies or buying their own boats/ships/processor companies. This was hailed as win-win as they  were then in the position of being able to provide employment opportunities to their stakeholders as well.
Along the way , the law was changed to drop yearly state oversight, lengthen reporting time between CDPs,  and allow for some non-fisheries related investment amongst other changes.
Some CDQs now  have large for-profit corporations  which operate as “feeders” of monies to the parent non-profits.There have been wrangles over how much information the “feeders” do or do not share with their parent non-profits and stakeholders, as well as how much  information the CDQ entities must share with their stakeholders .

People ask about  what  the real benefits to CDQ communities are/ might be – it’s not simple to answer.
Many of the metrics used to measure benefit fall into what I think of as taking the temperature of the picture of the people on the box the thermometer came in.
They are measures of dollars piled up, spread around, employment figures without full context, glossies of completed projects, and so on.

The current  law says :


(i) IN GENERAL.—During calendar year 2012 and every 10 years thereafter, the State of Alaska shall evaluate the performance of each entity participating in the program based on the criteria described in clause (ii).

(ii) CRITERIA.—The panel shall establish a system to be applied under this subparagraph that allows each entity participating in the program to assign relative

values to the following criteria to reflect the particular needs of its villages:

(I) Changes during the preceding 10-year period in population, poverty level, and economic development in the entity’s member villages.

(II) The overall financial performance of the entity, including fishery and nonfishery investments by the entity.

(III) Employment, scholarships, and training supported by the entity.

(IV) Achieving of the goals of the entity’s community development plan.

At this point, the State of Alaska is attempting to develop a way to evaluate performance and looking to funding to perform the review.

Many stakeholders in member villages feel that the weaknesses identified in this 1999 report have never been addressed and should be integrated in meaningful measure in the upcoming evaluation process.

“Perhaps the greatest weakness of the CDQ program as implemented is lack of open, consistent communication between the CDQ groups and the communities they represent, particularly a lack of mechanisms for substantial input from the communities into the governance structures. There has also been a lack of outreach by the state to the communities to help ensure that the communities are aware of the program and how to participate. Some controversy has surrounded the uncertainty about the intended beneficiaries of the program—essentially, whether the program is intended primarily for the Native Alaskan residents of the participating communities, and, if not, review the governance structures to ensure that non-native participation is possible. “

I think stakeholders are correct here. Accepting what these CDQ entities say about their own performance, weighted at their own discretion, creates  a very narrow window on what might be called “success” .

With that in mind, I do not think we will be able to judge clearly whether the CDQs are really benefitting their communities if we cannot extend or adjust the way we measure success and benefit to include criteria for judgment not normally employed by “blue ribbon panels”  or self interested self-reporting.

Stakeholders and their communities , the supposed beneficiaries of “success’ must have  a place at the table, a part in the evaluation process, for the process to be credible.



 I have skipped right on by anything to do with the uproar over CDQs participating in trawl fisheries which are suspected of damaging other fisheries including subsistence fishing but it is an important aspect of questioning real benefit as well


28 Responses to “CDQ 101”

  1. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Thank you for posting this article. 20 years of the CDQs and finally in the past 5 or so years the general public is learning about the program. Managers kept the intent in dark and gray areas for at least 15 years.

  2. ugavic Says:

    MFU – I could not put it any better. Much is to be learned and straightened out so the INTENT, or what I believe most of us understand the intent to be, can be gotten from the program.
    Thanks AK Pi for taking on this tough subject!

  3. alaskapi Says:

    I want to see an argument for a LEGAL opening in the process to admit stakeholders and their communities . The moral argument seems obvious- there is no success unless beneficiaries’ responses are factored into the metrics. Within the written law and process, how does this /can this happen? How do you get questions on the plate, let alone to the table?
    The presumption within the entities and the oversight folks seems, so far, to be that it is adequate to have representatives on the boards from each community . Given the concerns different communities have about the closed doors , often even to their reps, behind which much of the business is managed , this idea is suspect.
    No one in those closed circles seems to get the point of the 1999 report or to have any intent to remedy those fundamental flaws in the situation. Where is the legal opening to make them do it?
    As the state is responsible for seeing if intent and reality match, how does it do that given the CDQs get to establish and weight the criteria above ?

  4. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Perhaps the people of the poverty stricken villages in the Western Alaska area can use the technique that works well for the international child welfare programs – pictures are worth a thousand words.

    We’re in a period where numbers on a piece of paper gives regulators in glass tower offices a false sense of success. Pictures show reality.

  5. ugavic Says:

    MFU- Yes, housing that is substandard, schools that are falling apart, ice on the inside of window since people can afford the fuel to heat and bare cupboards due to lck of income to buy groceries or gas to hunt.
    I think we could gather a lot from villages in a very short order!!

  6. alaskapi Says:

    I have been puzzling over this for months now.
    One of the things which I return to , over and over, is how do you measure economic gain/loss in a meaningful way?

    This article makes a case for the economic value of Bristol Bay fisheries across a number of planes :

    -These estimates provide strong economic support for protecting Bristol Bay’s unique and valuable ecosystem,” researchers said.

    “The economic impacts of Bristol Bay fisheries extend widely; permit holders reside outside of the base study area and in other states; the catch is processed inside and outside of Alaska; and final products are sold to consumers across the U.S. and abroad. The future of Bristol Bay’s fisheries, therefore, is of significant national and global importance,” the study concludes.-

    from the :

    but the commenter who said (and whom I usually disagree with ):

    “Too bad that only a small fraction of this money, probably less than one percent of the value of this fishery is staying in Bristol Bay.”

    is onto another piece of the puzzle which is too often ignored here.

    The context of this article , building an argument for protecting the watershed of Bristol Bay, is important but I think it just as important to note that counting piles of money generated by the BB fishery here and there without looking at the economic difficulties in the communities in BB makes other problems. Toting up all the dollars the fishery makes and ignoring our neighbors in BB’s concerns over lack of real jobs and further beholdeness to whatever crumbs the big processors, et al choose to drop in the area is a real problem- one which too many haven’t the incentive to look at, let alone understand.
    I think there is a correlation with CDQs and the way they have been allowed to self report without the measure and dimension real input from stakeholder communities would add.

  7. Man_from_Unk Says:

    I think one of the ways we can measure economic gain/loss in regards to the CDQ program is the Census information for 2010, 2000 and 1990. The data lines up exactly with the age of the CDQ program.

    The information is fairly accurate and can be used as a tool of measurement since all the villages are included in the Census.

  8. Man_from_Unk Says:

    NSEDC, Norton Sound’s CDQ group identifies themselves as “a private 501(c)4 non-profit corporation representing 15 member communities”.

    ‘Private’ is defined as “secret, not public; reserved for, or belonging to, or concerning, an individual only,…”(Webster’s Dictionary).

    How is it that a corporation receiving Public Monies from a countries resources be considered Private? This unfair for those who do indeed own REAL Private non-profit corporations. We need to ask Congress to address this issue.

    The word “representing” is also misleading. The 15 villages in the Norton Sound OWN the CDQ program and because of that, they have a right to direct their administration and managers in a course that will benefit all of the 8,500 people living in the region.

    I know for a fact that the northern Norton Sound villages of Diomede, Wales, Brevig Mission and Teller are the poorest in the region yet they receive the bare minimum hand-outs from their corporation, NSEDC. This needs to be identified in the Decennial Review in order for the review to be accurate and true.

  9. Man_from_Unk Says:

    It’s hard work to help raise the standard of living for everyone in your region if the leadership is only interested in personal gains and power stemming from having access to millions of public dollars to help maintain control.

    Sadly, those monies are also used unfairly against those who do not quietly sit on the sidelines and watch incompetent people make mistakes that have long term negative effects on the general population and their sources of livelihood.

    We just celebrated a great man’s memory at the start of this week – Dr. Martin Luther King. I’m most certain that he is proud of the handful of men who are not afraid to stand up against the bullies controlling public input on matters of Public Resources.

  10. Man_from_Unk Says:

    It’s looks like you created this blog especially for me since I’m the only one commenting lately. Thank you. I have lots and lots to say about the Norton Sound CDQ program, NSEDC, because they continue to treat their stakeholders unfairly unless you are part of the brown-nosing crony clique that want a piece of the CDQ pie.

    One fits the pie pan if:

    *you go with the flow of those in charge
    *you are quiet about the incompetence of those in charge
    *you are willing to spread lies that defame innocent people
    *you are happy with the little bit they throw your way
    *you are willing to behave like a bully in a public meeting
    *you steal competent people’s ideas and portray them as your own

  11. ugavic Says:

    Not to worry …many are reading. I have come to find that many are very afraid still to speak out fearing ‘backlash’ plus a good number of others are just starting to understand the disucssion.
    I am asked often when attending meetings or gatherings about some of your comments and much about the overall disccussion. We are slowly gaining education on a difficult subject so don’t worry about being ‘ the only one’ :-)

  12. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Thanks for the heads up vic. I am not who the NSEDC cronies think I am.

  13. Man_from_Unk Says:

    The Norton Sound Salmon Games will start sometime tomorrow Jan. 22nd when Fish and Game employees arrive in Nome for the upcoming Norton Sound/Bering Strait Regional Planning Team meeting to OFFICIALLY start on Monday, Jan. 23rd at 9AM in the Nome City Council Chambers. Word is that a F&G employee in charge of Hatchery Permits in the State of Alaska was invited to partake in a closed door meeting with people from special interest group(s?).

    I have to write about this upcoming event in sections because your blog page starts jumping up and down when I get beyond 2 paragraphs.

  14. Man_from_Unk Says:

    The big event for the Norton Sound region is the Norton Sound/Bering Strait Regional Planning Team meeting scheduled for this coming Monday the 23rd. Private conversations have already been held ever since it was scheduled back in December.

    The Key Players in the Salmon Games are ADF&G and two employees of NSEDC plus a member of the Board of Directors of said CDQ group. Some people think they can shuffle and trade voting members. We’ll see. The control group does not have the best interests in mind for all the stakeholders in the region.

  15. Man_from_Unk Says:

    A private citizen has been defamed, excluded, bullied and discredited for at least 20 years in the Norton Sound. He is the most qualified resident of the whole region in regards to managing the resources because he was trained at very good wildlife management programs one of which was the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

    The only problem is that this man is not an ass kissing fool. An American with lots to offer but his lips.

  16. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Thank god his lips are attached to his head which also connects to his brain and his back. He honors all Americans regardless of race or economic status with his expectations of equality – no man is above him or below him. His back will not bend, nor will his brain guide his lips to kiss butt just to be considered worthy of his rights guarenteed to him by the Constitution of the United States of America.

  17. Man_from_Unk Says:

    There are discussions on a couple of other blogs that will give a curious reader an insight to CDQs:, an article in the December archives titled “A fine salmon season for Norton Sound” posted 12/26/12. has a couple of articles of interest; a recent one posted today, 1/22/12 and one posted in early December.

  18. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Hopefully there will be an unbiased reporter at tomorrow’s Norton Sound/Bering Strait Regional Planning Team meeting.

    Perhaps the meeting coordinator should attach rubber pads onto the chairs so that the local ‘temper tantrumer’ won’t damage anything when he gets up in anger and slams the chair against the table. Lock up the kitchen too so he won’t take his temper tantrum in there to slam stuff around. Private citizens need to attend to watch this bully stuff happen.

  19. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Our PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, state workers for The Alaska Department of Fish and Game met in a closed door meeting with members of a local native corporation yesterday.

    I’m a native. I wasn’t invited to voice my opinions about the salmon issue.

    Perhaps we need to invite ACLU into the picture.

  20. ugavic Says:

    I too am trying to watch the meeting going on this week in Norton Sound.

    It is such a mess and those who are calling for ‘open’ meetings have every right.

    The two blogs you mention, deckboss and alaskacafe are both a number of us red regularly!

    We here in BB are dealing with our own behind the door dealings with our CDQ. The former Chairman of the Board got voted out, not retired as so many are trying to spin it, and continues to try and dictate the direction the organization is going, as his village rep. His ego has no end!! Hopefully the current BBEDC board will have the guts to find a good, qualified, not some former personal assistant or a hardware manager, person to clean up the mess and take the organization forward.

  21. Man_from_Unk Says:

    I’m totally baffled and somewhat enraged about the way the State and the CDQ program for the Norton Sound, NSEDC, has an unjust attitude in their management of the Salmon Resources for the region. They are manipulating the ignorant and illiterate – they continue to spread misinformation as well as refuse to look at the facts gathered over a period of about 20 years.

    You’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – “Information Holders”. Bleeding as much Public Monies as they can for their own self-interests before the majority of the poor people wake up. It’s blatant and obvious – someone said and I quote – “Robbing the poor in broad daylight!”

  22. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Our self-appointed ‘Godfather of the Norton Sound Salmon’ didn’t act out of line at Monday’s RPT meeting in the Nome City Council Chambers because his bosses attended the meeting in full force to do the nasty work.

    I estimate that the salaries and per diem of the NSEDC biggies attending the meeting probably runs to at least $10,000 for the day. As a good neighbor said when we were discussing the state of affairs for salmon management in the Norton Sound region – “they are like children without an ability to reason or to play fair”.

    As a Native, I resent being lumped into this description of some natives. I am shamed and embarrassed about the greed and hatefulness shown to fellow Americans just because they are speaking out against their unfair control.

  23. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Oh vic, I forgot to mention that the meeting in Nome this past Monday was a set-up. The managers know they messed up the Norton Sound salmon stocks in the last 30 years so they are stalling for more time to continue the cover-up.

    If the poor people of the region had as much money as the State and the CDQ program together, then the playing field would have been at an equal stance. They know they got us locked tight in the dungeon for dummies. Never mind that they are destroying our cultural and traditional use of the salmon while they play games with our money.

  24. Man_from_Unk Says:

    I took a much needed break and now I’m refreshed. I decided that I needed to disclose who I really am soon because NSEDC and their cronies are pointing their fingers at the wrong person. It’s blatant character assassination and it’s been going on for 20 + years up here in the Norton Sound. Just because I share the same views, it is being assumed that I’m Tim. The misrepresented outrageous idea that only one MAN in the Norton Sound wants more salmon for all of the resource users is finally being put to rest. On the other hand, it’s my opinion that there is ONE MAN causing the disharmony and this has been the status quo for 30 years. It’s time to retire the dude.

  25. Man_from_Unk Says:

    My next piece is going to be historical and I’m going to title it:

    The Effects of Pathological Lying

    I’m thinking out the details before I write them down.

  26. Man_from_Unk Says:

    Glossary for “The Effects of Pathological Lying”

    From Webster’s Dictionary:

    effects – means impressions

    pathological (the adjective form of ‘pathology’ or science of diseases) means compulsively motivated

    compulsively comes from the noun ‘compulsion’ meaning irresistible impulse.

    Lying means the act of telling things that are not true

    Pathological Lying is therefore a disease stemming from a liar’s irresistible impluse to tell lies and represent those lies as factual truth.

  27. Man_from_Unk Says:

    WITW would The Man write about Pathological Lying on a CDQ 101 blog?

    The blog monitors of NSEDC, Norton Sounds CDQ group, should find this discussion noteworthy.

    I gave definitions of the key words of the discussion so that liars would not misrepresent my words to make me look like I’m a liar as well.

  28. Man_from_Unk Says:

    The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council has been meeting in Anchorage since last week. Thanks to Sally Bibb of the National Marine Fisheries Services for bringing the 30,000 chum salmon bycatch cap to their attention.

    Then there was Roy Ashenfelter of Kawerak, Inc. confusing the issue with ranting and raving equivalent to blowing smoke right out of his behind. How can intelligent people take him seriously when the people of the region don’t????

    This is all tried to CDQs. Favors for favors. Per Diem, discrectionary funds, honoriums and grants for the supporters.

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