UFA's internal debate

United Fishermen of Alaska, the state's top commercial fishing group, has been looking since July for a new executive director.

Naturally, we're all wondering how the search is going.

Deckboss can provide a little insight in the form of a "confidential" email that came his way today. The email is "inside baseball," to some degree, but I expect most readers can follow it. So here it is:

Subject: UFA Exective Director selection process and list of applicants--draft memo
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:39:31 -0800
From: Roland Maw
To: Undisclosed Recipients


UFA Board:

We have received the ED selection process memorandum and the list of candidates and I wish to make a few comments on the process. In particular, one of the candidates and her relationship with some of the EC members who will be involved in making EC recommendations to the full Board. First of all, I would recommend that no less than three candidates names be forwarded to the full Board, and that the final selection require a two thirds majority vote of approval.

In terms of applicants, my particular concern is with Julianne Curry, with whom I have professional experiences and observations at the NPFMC relative to the Salmon FMP issue. It is not about Julianne as a person, and it is not about personal issues, instead, it is about her history with fishery policy agendas, how she has pursued them and her professional relationships with UFA groups. I am concerned only about this matter in regard to what is best for UFA as a professional organization. Questions often arise as to how Julianne, with her narrow focus on fisheries issues, lack of willingness to listen to opposing points of view and unwillingness to compromise, can fairly represent the diverse issues of UFA as a statewide commercial fishery organization.

Concerns occur on a regular basis at the NPFMC Advisory Panel (AP) regarding her involvement with the "Super 8," otherwise known as "the Angry 8," on the AP. This group, comprised of two UFA voting member group reps, PVOA and ALFA, routinely votes as a minority block on the AP and develops lengthy minority opinions, both of which are the subject of controversy. Other notable groups represented in the “Angry 8” are: AMCC, the Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition (GOAC3) and the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Development Association (YRDFA). The “Angry 8” group has been a subject of discussion at the AP of the NPFMC for almost a year, resulting in the Chairman of the NPFMC delivering a warning to the AP, through the Chair of the AP, about this issue. The “Angry 8” group unnecessarily takes on issues outside their respective geographic areas, and, in so doing, they injure other UFA member groups. In the case of Cook Inlet, Julianne spoke in favor of the revision to the Salmon FMP against the interests of UCIDA. In the light of these activities, how can she fairly represent member groups as the ED of UFA?

This issue needs to come to light in this selection process and needs to be known to the full Board. There are numerous salmon-based organizations who are not involved in the Council process and are unaware of this organized political activity at the Council. The subject of the "Angry 8" has also become a subject of interest with at least one member of the press. The voting record of the "Angry 8" is a matter of record in the Council minutes. This issue remains an ongoing subject of discussion within the EC of the NPFMC.

Julianne began telling people at the UFA February 2012 winter Board meeting in Juneau that she was going to apply for the UFA ED position in the fall when it was announced. She also announced that she would be resigning from PVOA. Since then, she has made no effort to communicate with any of the group representatives to discuss her plans and goals, if she is to be selected and to tell us how she can fairly represent our diverse interests.