Alaska Nonprofit in Conflict with the Villagers It’s Supposed to Serve

5292268979_a0cea96a22_zCoastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) in Southwest Alaska is at odds with the villages it was created to serve after shutting down its commercial salmon operation. CVRF is one of six coastal development quota groups (CDQs) created by the federal government back in the Nineties to boost the Western Alaskan economy. The idea was that the CDQs would use earnings from federal fisheries, royalties, and investments to invest in the local economy by creating employment opportunities and growth, particularly surrounding small-scale commercial fisheries. They achieve this in part by offering subsidies for commercial fisheries, loans for residents to purchase boats and outboards, building or improving fish processing facilities, and improving fish handling infrastructure. Aside from commercial fishing, CDQs also create internships with business partners, offer training, and create jobs with government agencies.  The CVRF board felt that one village, Quinhagak, received an unfair advantage in its subsidies for its salmon operation. They shut down the operation but still continue to offer other benefits. What the CVRF board did not anticipate was that closing this operation would have downstream effects not only on Quinhagak, but also the surrounding villages. Read the rest here 16:27