Reindeer News Round Up from Finnmark

June 14, 2007 • Philip BurgessReindeer

The leaders of NBR-NRL at their AGM recently urged for an assessment of nuclear power as a power source, pointing out that all forms of power development impact reindeer husbandry, including wind power, which is generally thought of as being more environmentally benign and there are plans for extensive development of wind power on the Finnmark coast – on the agenda was a presentation by Ellenor Guttorm Utsi entitled ‘Wind Power-Reindeer Husbandry’s battle with Goliath’ . Traffic – another byproduct of development is taking a severe toll on reindeer as road kill has increased enormously in Finnmark. Sámi Council Vice President Olav Mathis Eira called for the Sámi Parliament in Norway to be allowed adminster reindeer husbandry, instead of the current administration in Alta. This was responded to negatively by the State Secretary for Agriculture, Ola T. Heggem who said it was natural for the state to administer reindeer husbandry. Karasjok municipal leaders have ‘Gold Fever‘, as a major Norwegian mining company is promising ‘hundreds of jobs’ in the municipality as they plan to develop gold mining in the region. ICR employee, Elna Sara was quoted in an AFP report on how climate change is threatening indigenous peoples. Meanwhile, Reindeer meat has to be ‘treated like gold‘ as it is becoming increasingly popular and harder to get – the slaughter house in Kautokeino was empty by Easter and demand is rising. Finally, the annual NBR NRL meeting in Mehamn was the site of the competition to find reindeer husbandry’s best lasso caster! The best woman was Inga Berit Marie Triumf and the best man was Olav Mathis Eira from over 70 participants. The best woman won a 1.5 year old female reindeer (vuonjal) and an unmarked 6 month old reindeer calf (čearpmat)!

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