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Film Happy People narrated by Werner Herzog

Discussion in 'Resources' started by Janne, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    A movie about a year in the life of a couple of hunters/trappers in the Siberian Taiga.
    How they do the traps, skis, canoe, and the general life in that area.
    One of my favourite docu movies! I see it over and over again, and wish I could visit those Masters!
    Werner Herzog is a German film guy, a living legend. His narration is truly fantastic.


    https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbYmI1TlpyY_ndkxwZcUbBRyuED_iN1LX
     
    Leshy and daveO like this.
  2. Joe tahkahikew

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    Just watched the Spring one. Really enjoyed it 0- just like up here too in the fall/autumn
     
  3. Madriverrob

    Madriverrob Settler

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    Thanks Janne , started to watch the first one this morning , will be back to them later after work .
     
  4. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Please note the old snowscooters and outboard engines, the state they are in. But: Fully functional.
    Soviet engineering at its best!
     
  5. Sundowner

    Sundowner Forager

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    Just watched part1. Good stuff. Really enjoyed it
     
  6. daveO

    daveO Settler

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    Thanks for the link, I've been wanting to watch this for a while.
     
  7. Sundowner

    Sundowner Forager

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    I watched all 4 parts now. Really enjoyed it. Thanks for the heads up!!!
     
  8. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Taiga is a different word for Boreal Forest.
    More Larch/Tamarack trees but looks the same as here where I have lived for 45 years.
    Good to watch how much they know to live there. Those are very well made videos.
    Various levels of Canadian government don't want us to live in the forest, either. A few people do. Not easy.
     
  9. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I loved the way those people live not IN nature, but WITH nature. Harmony. I wish I could achieve that.
     
  10. daveO

    daveO Settler

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    There was a fair bit of nature that disappeared into the stomachs of hungry Russians that might disagree with your definition of harmony a bit.
     
  11. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    A natural food chain
    Bear eats fish. Dog eats fish. Human eats fish.
    Bear eats dog and human.
    And so on...

    You van not survive being a vegan in that climate, in that place.
    Or even a vegetarian.

    Us humsns ate a part of nature, and as long as we do not exhaust the resources we are a healthy part of the loop.
    Those guys are that. The main guy has bern trapping in yhe same area since the early 1970’s. That is what I call sustainebility!
     
  12. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Aquatic (fresh water) fish biology in the Boreal Forest biome lakes supports a steady harvest. Net fishing improves population growth.
    The top predatory fish can very quickly overpopulate their habitat. They are unable to reduce their biotic potential
    so it's the same 1/2 million eggs every year. Rather than starve, they stunt instead. Selectively net them out with big mesh.
    Say 3.5" up to 5", depending on species. I was paid to catch those fish one summer. Lots of them. The sport fishing did improve.

    Trapping on land means keeping a stable reproductive population. With a little less competition, the remaining animals have more resources
    and there's less risk of population collapse (disease/epidemic is the other big killer with food failures and starvation).
    Trappers are some of the very best wildlife managers in the business.

    Those Russians had been at it for so long, they knew what a healthy landscape looks like.
     
  13. daveO

    daveO Settler

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    There's a big difference between having a low impact life and living in harmony with nature. It works for them because only a few people do it but there's no way a larger population could live 'in harmony' like that. They get away with 'sustainable' harvests of wild food because of the lack of other people up there and probably the reduced competition from wild predators since many will have been killed or driven off from the area. Hunters and trappers always claim to be the best wildlife managers and as long as their primary target species don't drop in number then this supports their arguments but that's generally not how ecosystems work. If they're seeing a consistant number of sables then that's probably because they're keeping the population low enough so that they're not affected by the 'boom and bust' nature of all animal populations. Are the predators that rely on eating sable doing well? Are sables a key vector in seed dispersal or as a predator of some animal that causes damage elsewhere? For all we know some plants populations are suffering because of the low sable population in the area. I'm just saying there's a big picture when it comes to ecosystems and it's not always clear what impact humans have with even the slightest interferance.

    Most of their firewood comes from logging up stream so there's an impact there even if it's not direct, they use fossil fuel for their boats and snow mobiles, the delivery of their food and other supplies from the cities has a much higher carbon footprint than for those living in populated areas.
     
  14. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    But where do you draw the line? Humans have been living there since before the Ice Age.
    Are they not a part of the environment?

    For sure they eat transported food and fuels, but far, far less than we do. Meat, fish, potatoes and veg - local. Energy transported.

    I think those people are far more environmentally sound and have less footprint than we have.

    And, the most interesting part - it is hugely interesting how they live from a bushcrafter point of view, which is the point with me posting the link.
    Ski making, boat making, trapping, getting around. What he says about dogs.
     
  15. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Animal populations become vulnerable to boom & bust dynamics only under catastrophic conditions.
    Instead, animal populations need a stable reproductive population, given their biotic potential, aka birth rate.
    For humans, 'r' is normally 1. No matter what you do, you can't change that to 5 or 50. Just as well.
    It's also independent of body size and location.

    That's coupled with "survivorship." The very same concept employed by life insurance companies.

    High Survivorship/Low Mortality: the young have a good probability to grow old, eg humans
    Moderate Survivorship/Moderate Mortality: the death rate is quite steady throughout the life span. Eg: Robins & Moose.
    Low Survivorship/ High Mortality: Defined as losing 50% of the population in the first 15% of the life span. eg most fish.

    No, you can't push a species from one survivorship to a better one. Other factors suddenly become important
    and you are back where you started.
    As I said, fish populations don't "bust," they stunt. Each is smaller and takes less of the resource pie.
    On land, our big cats (Lynx, Bobcat and Cougar) will try to move/migrate. This also allows the local district
    prey populations to recover. The old predator-prey data from the HBC fur trapping records looks good,
    but it's not predation but disease that allows the fluctuations we have seen for centuries.
     
  16. daveO

    daveO Settler

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    Fish populations only stunt when you lose the top predators or the ecosystem isn't working though. If humans can step in and 'fix' what they percieve as the problem then they're fulfilling the broken part of the ecosystem or sometimes even causing the problem without realising it. Stunting relies on large fish basically getting 'stuck' in the food chain so that they're able to consume enough prey to survive but they're consuming too much to allow the prey to establish a decent breeding population. Normally stunting would increase the chance of the fish getting a disease or something that would allow healthier fish to dominate again. You see the logic a lot in sport fishing management because you want a good population of trophey fish so catching the pike out of trout lakes and reducing the number of cannibal trout becomes important. Just as killing off the ospreys and otters used to be common practice. It looks great because the lake is producing big healthy fish and is managed to give a good ecosystem for the trout to get their food

    A good example of boom and bust species would be something like field voles which can breed rapidly when food is available but are a key food species for a lot of predators. Food becomes available, field vole population booms, predators have more food so they also boom but more slowly, too many predators eat too many of the voles and the populations collapse. I think this is about a 6 year cycle but it would vary with different animals and environments.

    but it's not always about just food. The example all ecologists are using now is the reintroduction of wolves to places like Yellowstone. Look at how the whole ecosystem changed there by altering the dynamics of the animal populations. Hunters would tell you that you need to shoot more deer to sort the over grazing problem but that wasn't the case.
     
  17. daveO

    daveO Settler

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    I guess it's when you have to switch from subsistance living to earning money from your surroundings that you are forced away from nature. I've been thinking about this though and can't really pin down a definition in my head that really gives a good answer to that. They are very self sufficient and practical but it's by necessity more than anything and I'd argue that you could be more environmentally sound by living closer to population centres and in a less extreme climate. A person can feed their whole family from something as small as an allotment all year round in a temperate climate with a polytunnel or similar and need a lot less fuel to heat their house. Most people don't because it's a lot of work when you have easy access to shops and can earn money to pay for more food than you need.
     
  18. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    The lead and lag growth is typical of predator/prey relationships. The prey are not in profound trouble when their population
    drops. More likely due to disease than predation. Rule of thumb is that predators catch about 10% of prey. The rest of the die-off
    is for other reasons. In rodents, crowding causes behavioral and biological changes that are self regulating. Embryo resorption, for example.
    Even urine from strange males is a trigger.

    The Russians are trapping excess Net Production. That is sustainable but it must take years to comprehend the numbers.
    We've got immigrant crabbers that kill everything they catch. The whole fleet suffers.

    I'm pretty happy to specialize. I grow grapes. Deep purple, good for juice and jelly and table. I barter the entire crop for other vegetables.
    Visiting in cities of millions, I do sometimes wonder if bartering would be effectively possible at all!

    This crop, I got 3 kinds of onions, some garlic, a big sack of carrots and 4 different varieties of potatoes (taste tests!).
    The grape pickers came end of September. By the looks of it, I'll have veg to Christmas and beyond.
     
  19. Joe tahkahikew

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    DavO, you make some fair points for a moniyaw ;-) (non speaker of our language), as do Robson Valley and Jan. But let me tell it from where I sit now.

    For maybe 12 or 13 thousands of years man in Canada has been living up here. Compared with how I see your people live, I think we live far more in harmony with nature than you can ever hope to do.

    We do not hunt predators. We know they take the things we eat and/or trap and sell a little. They live too on our land and like us sometimes find it difficult and hard going. We don't mind, they are like us. The martins we hunt are preditors too - like the sable I think. When the moniyaw traders asked us many years ago to hunt the beaver, the fox, the marten and other fur animals, we did so because that is what we did and we were paid or traded. No different to why you work I guess. But there were only so many of us Nehiyawok (Speekers of Cree), but demand from moneyaw grew and so many more moneyaw hunters from the south, the cities and europe came here and hunted them until they were scarce and no longer profitable. By the sixties and seventies the demand by your people - for our furs crashed. We went hungry and our income dropped. Like the animals we had to find other way to eat. Now these animals are back - in our lifetime too. We take care to make sure we only hunt enough in one area long enough to do no harm, then we move our camps or village to another area for a while and so on. Our houses are made from the forest and do not come far. Many of our southern forests are cut and sold to moneyaw from big cities and I often wonder when I see cut forest if there are many europeans living in homes made by from them.

    I think our way of life is far,far more environmentally sound than the life most people live in towns, or cities. You have an automobile I guess? You buy your food from the store? where does it come from? You buy all your clothing? Where is it made? How do you keep your house warm in winter? From the forest? Everything I saw in your stores came from far away places. Fruit from many countries, meat from many countries, clothes from China, Thailand and similiar places. Many, autombiles? Englishcars? hell no! All these environmentally friendly folk driving vehicles made in Japan! many autombiles made the towns smell = and where did all that oil come from? Our hunting homes we use when we are travelling have no electric or central heating like you and we use only wood to heat them. They came from the forest and will return to it.

    The place we call Nikis has only one new road, before a few years ago there were no road, in or out. I never thenhad visited amiskwacwaskahikan, our nearest city (Edmonton) or your land. We had no need. I live in the bush. We have a few skidoos, pickups, mostly old and bad. Every single bit of meat I eat I know where it came from and what it fed upon. and it is free from chemicals - it lived in the forest like we do. ! It is where out of choice I live and work. When I die my waskahikan will fall back into the forest like all our other houses and no trace will remain.

    I think this is good choice for us - its why we are here.
     
    Swallow, Leshy and Janne like this.
  20. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Jo, you make a good argument (and, of all the people I listen to on this forum I would love to sit around a campfire and chat with you) but you can only live the life you do because the other 7.6 billion people on this overpopulated world are grinding 24/7 in towns and cities and toiling on farms; if they did not the resources of this world would not be enough.

    Don't get me wrong, that isn't a criticism, in a less obvious way I am in the same situation. I live in the least populated are of the UK south of the Scottish border. If everyone in the UK wanted to live in the country I couldn't live as I do. And I'm not anti-hunting; but I only kill what I or my family can eat (literally, no predators or pests).

    However, I think the whole argument of sustainability falls over when the trapping and hunting is for money not for survival. As soon as anyone starts to hunt for the 'city' the balance is lost. It would be a bit like a sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) hunting for its own brood and a thousand other sparrowhawk families that sit around paying for their food; the prey species wouldn't last.

    So, I think, DaveO's point was not against the lifestyle in general but that it is lived to make a profit for both the hunter and some bloke in the city thereby, potentially, making demand higher than natural regeneration. Of course, it is easy for us sitting here in our heated homes and cars parked outside; we must also recognise everyone has a right to use the resources available to them to live and even improve their lives - a true conflict when it come to the natural world :)

    Just my thoughts ....

    Cheers,

    Broch
     

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