preserves options for the local people to continue some elements of their subsistence lifestyles. The CDQ program generates resources that give local communities greater control of their futures. The State of Alaska also has played its part relatively effectively—it was efficient in reviewing the Community Development Plans, monitoring how the communities progressed, and responding to problems. Some of these responses, like reallocating quota share among communities, have been controversial, as might be expected.
Perhaps the greatest weakness of the CDQ program as implemented is a 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 and their residents are aware of the program and how to participate. For the CDQ program to be effective there must be a clear, well-established governance structure that fosters exchange of information among the groups' decisionmakers, the communities they represent, and the state and federal personnel involved in program oversight.
Some debate has centered on uncertainty about the intended beneficiaries of the program. It is unclear whether the program is intended primarily for the Native Alaskan residents of the participating communities or, if not, whether the governance structures should be modified to ensure that non-Native participation is possible. Similarly, there has been dissatisfaction among segments of the fishing industry that are not involved, either directly or as partners of CDQ groups, who believe that the program unfairly targets a particular population for benefits. This conflict is inevitable, given that the CDQ program is designed to provide opportunities for economic and social growth specifically to rural Western Alaska. This policy choice specifically defines those to be included and cannot help but exclude others.
Although it is logical to require initially that all reinvestment of profits be in fishery-related activities because the initial objective of the CDQ program is to help the participating communities to establish a viable presence in this capital intensive industry, over time there should be more flexibility in the rules governing allocation of benefits—perhaps still requiring most benefits to be reinvested in fishing and fisheries-related activities but allowing some portion to go to other community development activities. This will better suit the long-term goal of the program, which is development of opportunities for communities in Western Alaska.
The main goal of the CDQ program—community development-is by definition a long-term goal. Thus there is a need for a set and dependable program duration and the certainty that brings to oversight and management. This will allow CDQ group decisionmakers to develop sound business plans and will reduce pressures to seek only short-term results. However, calling for the program to be long-term does not mean it must go on indefinitely nor that it must never change. Periodic reviews should be conducted, and changes made to adapt rules and procedures as necessary. There can be a balance between certainty and flexibility if the program is assured to exist for some reasonable time (e.g., ten years) and if major changes in requirements are announced in advance with adequate time to phase in new approaches (e.g.. five years). The appropriate time scales will of course vary with the nature of the change, with minor changes requiring little notice and major changes requiring enough time for decisionmakers and communities to plan and adjust.