Living off the Land
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Living off the Land

[music] That is one sour berry. That flavor and smell bring back
memories from my childhood. High bush cranberries are just one of many
foods growing on the Tongass National Forest. Picking them and other berries is a very
old tradition. People have depended on the forest for
food for as long as people have lived in southeast Alaska. Today some like me gather food for
recreation. But for many Southeast Alaska residents
the Tongass and its waters represent their grocery store. For them, gathering subsistence foods is a
necessity and a way of life. [music] They call it subsistence but for our people it’s a way of life. Early on in the season we’ll fish for King salmon and put that up for
the winter months. Now we’re fishing for sockeye. Our people will go out and gather halibut or hunt deer. In the summer months, they’ll gather
blueberries, huckleberries, salmon berries. Our elders would say that the lifestyle that we have and the food that
we eat was more healthier than what we buy nowadays in the store. Easy. Subsistence fishing and
hunting provide a large share of the food consumed in rural Alaska – an average of 375 pounds per person per
year. Nowhere else in the nation is there such a
heavy reliance upon wild foods. But Alaska subsistence is more than just
gathering food. Living on the land, living with the
land is the fundamental underlying basis of
native cultures Customary and traditional use – the Tlingit word for that is ___ and ________ two different
things. Our ownership of things and our way of life you might say. That’s customary in traditional
use. That’s something from the past that was brought and that definition
was given to subsistence. The Alaska National Interest Lands
Conservation Act passed by Congress in 1980, mandates that rural residents of Alaska be
given a priority for subsistence uses of fish and wildlife. Federal government manages subsistence
uses on federal public lands and waters in Alaska, about 60 percent of the state. The Forest Service is one of the federal agencies working to provide an opportunity for subsistence
ways of life by rural Alaskans both native and non-native. Basket Bay is one of the places that people will come and gather their sockeye to put for the fall and winter months. Like
everyone who lives in southeast Alaska, Donald Frank’s community is surrounded by
the Tongass National Forest. His Angoon home is the only town on Admiralty Island. Angoon residents who subsistence fish in Basket Bay must travel by boat about 20 miles across Chatham Strait to
Chichagof Island. The type of seine we’re using is a beach seine. We have a leaded line and a cork line and it’s about a 45, 50 fathom seine that we use and we try to hold it out in the tide and wait for the sockeye to move in. When our men tie the seine they create what is called a sack or a bay and fish will hold up in that, mill around in that as they’re closing it. They’ll bring the seine in, both ends in, and start to pull it in and try to close it up
before any of the sockeye get out. Whew, man 50, 50, 25.36. There are many streams in southeast
Alaska with salmon runs but there’s also a big demand for the
fish. You can never have enough sockeyes as
subsistence you know in a household or whatever. You
just never have enough. Commercial fishermen can never have
enough. They’re quite a valued resource. It’s very fortunate that we do have
this little bit of influx of federal subsistence money that allows us
to monitor these runs. One place the
monitoring takes place is Basket Bay. That’s a location where the Forest Service and
Angoon Community Association cooperate on a project to estimate annual escapement. The purpose is to allow us the operators to get an accurate count
of the number of sockeye that have escaped the fisheries that
make it up to spawn in this lake system. The Forest Service
built the weir and camp but Angoon residents
conduct the on-site monitoring. What they do is they’re here on site 24
hours a day for the whole course of the run. Whenever a
sockeye swims upstream and enters a trap at
the face of the weir, they’ll count the fish out. Pass the fish
over the weir and keep a count how many go up.
Five sockeye adult marked, one adult sockeye unmarked, and 3 dolly vardens In freshwater on federal lands, we have federal government has the
responsibility for management of subsistence resources, subsistence fisheries. In actuality we’re
very closely tied with the state of Alaska department of fish and game which is since
statehood obviously been managers of the resource. So we’re trying to work
together. These projects are cooperative with fish and game and the local tribal folks as is the
management. The federal government has a grant
project that goes out and we apply for that as a tribal government
and that’s where the employment comes in of
our people, also a little training. They’re getting interested in what happens to the resources around them. That’s
a positive side of this because we get information. Whether we get
the reports or not, we get the information. People coming in because we are
interested in the resources that happen around us. We don’t want this fisheries to
disappear. We want it to continue for a long term to continue to be able to come here and gather what we need. Probably most households have somebody that comes up and does this, gathers food for their families. We come out here and each one of us sign
up for permit and we have some elders that can’t make it out will bring a permit
from the elders and unable to make it here so we’ll take it back and shared with the elders. We’ll take our fish home their performance button smoke causes radiant it’ll trader okay processes from a BB respect jars move the smoke group now I am following current we were come turned down and hands on a pole like this her craft fair salter can strike firmly fixed fire him smoke comes we usually just prefer smoke in there with our making prior
asleep in a Bikram chemical cook me prefer dorm room in our it really helps a lot
cancer low-income fixed-income Star Press can depend on the store so we have to
really depend on them system and especially with I’ll process known which can be a tough winter for us we didn’t have fish to give them on Howard much Nikon’s in rural communities are not adequate to support that
economic our well-being people in rural Alaska so subsistence is really important from
an economic perspective to help support the well-being a people economic reasons are important but it’s also the
call to all reasons I think that can cause mean
people to really work to protect their
subsistence what we want is healthy watersheds in healthy runs and I think with that
outcome a healthy fisheries and so we do our goal is to maintain
subsistence opportunity harvest as it’s occurred in
recent years managers with the tongas national forest
have many responsibilities maintaining the environments for the
wild foods that people depend on like I Bush cranberry is one of the more
important ones we recognize the importance of
maintaining subsistence we love life both for the day and for all the tomorrows. for the Tongass National Forest I’m
Pete Griffin.


  • David Eden

    sounds that you are trying to justify the governments greed . they fucked everything up not the people who live off the land what about the the gmo fish that they released into the rivers and streams it has destroyed all other spieces ye there doin a good job

  • Chris Cole

    These people dont really seem happy. They all talk to the camera like the family dog was just eaten by a bear.

  • NotAsItSeemsToBe

    We don't need government for this, government hinders this. Government depends on people being useless fluorinated consumers.

  • Kat dimops

    Shouldnt make you sad, this should make you mad, this should outrage you to the point of action. But it doesnt and it never will, human nature is you will only truly care when the government is screwing you over personally. THEN its time to do something.

  • dormilon36

    Government helps prevent overuse through ecological natural resource management and regulating commercial pressures.

  • TheRaellz

    I refuse to believe someone with grammar and spelling like that could achieve a 1/4 of a million dollars. I do believe, however, that you would lose it.

  • TheRaellz

    You always need government but the government does not need authority over things that should be in control of the people.

    Without government, there is no way to run a military to defend your country from invasion. We just need to take back many of our rights away from the government because politicians are being bought and sold by other countries in order to weaken the only super power in the world that can contend with anyone else.

  • TheRaellz

    You obviously didn't read my comment. Government in my comment would be closer to the people. We let politicians get too far and now we have to pay for it. At this point if we stand up to take our country back, we'll be labeled as terrorists.

    You always need a form of government or there's no order of any kind and we're sitting back waiting to be invaded.

  • TheRaellz

    It is our duty to do that but how are we supposed to organize, fund, supply and direct an army without government?? There has to be an order of some sort. Eventually when you split enough hairs you'll find that the same order needed to run such a thing is actually pretty much the same as the government.

    I do not like big government and all that but I do believe that a government should be run BY the people. Nothing more.

  • TheRaellz

    It is a sure sign of an education which means the ability to think and make better decisions than someone who lacks an education.

    I don't see what you're trying to point out. This is common sense.

  • badaboomrock

    it is all the commercial fish going on, it is sad the Native people should get their fill first, the country belongs to us all not the government. It was given to us in the treaty of 1783 from the king the right of equal use we should not have to have permission to fish and hunt to just live the why God intended.

  • flagmaniaful

    So rich you are to live in a place of such abundance in good wild food. Sockeye salmon is the best eating of all the salmon. You have good garden growing conditions in the summer.

  • interestingyoutubechannel

    unless you have tons of resources such as raw metals, and a factory built, and a lab, and a very powerful renewable energy plant, then we need the government for healthcare. using medicinal herbs etc and living with minimal stress of course improves our health, without a doubt, but we still need healthcare.

  • John M

    I plan on living off the land soon. I mean i will stay and get an education first but after that i am gone. I just don't want to waste half my life working. In my opinion life goes way to fast when you are using electronics(Facebook, gaming or watching TV, ect). And i want to live a happy slow life. But i am just a kid(well 16) so my life ambitions change regularly :/

  • WilsonRydeR69

    If that's something you aspire to then I say go for it….I'm 42 now and wish I would have or could have done that. Work is for suckers.

  • interestingyoutubechannel

    if you mean no institutionalised healthcare in its current state, i understand. but.. when i was in a commune there was a guy who didn't want anything artificial, outright refused, 'no healthcare' he chanted. when walking barefoot he cut himself, got a nasty infection, used natural medicine. as it got worse he got angry on suggestions of getting treated. ended up with a hole Through his foot. passed out, ambulance, pumped full of antibiotics, almost needed amputation so was lucky to keep his leg

  • MattShafter

    Because someone needs to manage the land. Stop acting like everything the government does is the absolute evil. If you want a total absence of government then move to Somalia. That would be your holy grail of living. Plenty of guns, no oversight, etc. Governments screw some things up, there's no doubt, but in this video I see an innocuous biologist recording data, and a forest ranger narrating some shit… relax… Take away government and see how fast the Pebble mine in SE alaska gets built…

  • Link Knight

    exactly. thats they way agriculture works in Australia. they are so full of crap here they are trying to shut down ones that DO make money on their own two feet.

  • Mick Scarborough

    If you or a loved one has ever been sick you would change your tune. More of us want healthcare than the myopic cretins that dont.

  • Emotionally Challenged Subordinate

    wow.. so you want to be forced to pay for your healthcare and others as well.. It's MY choice to insure myself, not yours or anybodies. You are a slave.. Bahh little sheep, bahhhh.

  • NzMaze

    yes it does work like that but the problem is Australia is being flooded with super cheap and substandard food from Asia that farmers are just mowing there crops back into the ground cause the manufactures buy cheap imports instead of local produce. They dont care that its full of pesticides and chemicals that are illegil to use here in Australia and the Government only test less than 5% of produce coming in from Asia So therefore farmers go broke and overseas companies buy the farm for the land

  • Link Knight

    that's right. i used to work for the place that won weekly times farmer of the year this year, boomaroo nurseries. the bosses said it was like this. the big supermarkets needed the size to be exact. like a cos lettuce would need to be between Xcm and Ycm long. they would throw out the small stuff but also the big stuff. then only 30% would get sent to the supermarket. then apparently half of that get thrown in the dumpster coz it goes rotten on the shelf. so only 15% grown leaves the supermrkt

  • AllAlaskan907

    More people in Alaska rely on wildlife for food than any other state, and we still have far more than all other states. If any thing Commercial fishing needs to be regulated more, not "sport" or subsistence fishing. People who do not live here will never understand, period. How ever because the state and federal government collects tax money off commercial fishing its those of us who rely on this food source and others that get screwed first. Governments gotta get their money no matter what. >:(

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  • rdevin31

    that is the most ridiculous argument on this whole page… first off comparing modern life to life even a hundred years ago is completely off base.. let's see hmm.. 2 billion people on the planet fast forward to 7 billion now… so to pretend like the natural world doesn't need humans trying to protect it.. god this is that same old ultra conservative mumbo jumbo.. i bet you believe the world is actually cooling down and that the ice sheets arn't melting…

  • rdevin31

    because of the govt we have increased wolf populations, buffalo, and countless other species.. and because of human's many animals such as polar bears are now going extinct.. that is just a small slice of the things the federal govt has achieved… no one likes the idea of federal control, but to pretend like the world would be better withought any over sight.. that is the most stupid thing i have ever heard

  • Ahrraminh

    Please watch /watch?v=XMxgYY_q-AI
    It's a video called 'Free Market Environmentalism' by 'Walter Block'. It's an educational interview where he explains how government incentivises environmental damage through its policies. Greedy people would not strip clear their own forest land, because then it would not yield the next year; as it stands they lease it from govt… If a pristine lake can make more money as a holiday resort/adventure park, then they will not dump toxic chemicals into it, etc..

  • 00skoolboy00

    people regulate it. the government takes credit.

    *cough* and uses our national land as collateral to china *cough*
    kinda messed up right?

  • Dean Counts

    Very small except various disturbing the peace type stuff due to alcohol, drinking is rampant in very isolated villages, especially far north ones where its near dark all day in Winter. Just North of Anchorage in Matanuska valley is nice, good farming land. Just South of Anchorage on peninsula is also nice.

  • D Wetick

    Hunting and gathering will never be as productive as farming, that's for sure…all you can do is service the tourists and act as guides…that will bring in sorely needed dollars to stay out of harms way. Arts and crafts will bring in more dollars, but are labor intensive. Farming is the only way to really keep the wolf from the door.

  • Oliver Ehmann

    American Indians are extremely greedy and hypocritical, they do not pay taxes but get tax revenue. They talk about oil price rising but its not their children fighting in the army to lower those prices. They whine about fish being their only source of U.S dollars but they expect to have priority fishing rights over the United States citizen.

    Liberal lying conniving thieving folk.

  • Oliver Ehmann

    The herd behavior and crisis denial of many is what typically is ridiculous. Wars are fought for many reasons, least of all are they fought for short term financial profits.

    The only people I can think of who fight over keeping prices high. are the street drug punters.

  • Joshua Murphy

    Where do these "living off the land" people get their jeans and their rubber gloves and their jackets and spices and knives and plastic tables and fishing netting and motor boats and rubber boots and plastic crates and backpacks and cars and USA stickers and gas and cardboard and eye glasses, etc, etc..  Just eating food that you dont buy at the grocery store is not striking me as "living off the land". 

  • Lloyd Andrew Houston

    Aye I notice this vid was posted around the time of the "Fukushima Mega disaster" in Japan ~ You can bet things are not so healthy there in Alaska anymore …especially the salmon ~ I would keep my Geiger counter close just sayin~!.


  • Cabin Bound

    The USDA Forest Service and BLM are both hacks!!! just another way the Government can Tax and tell you what you can do  on land you own!

  • wnchillbilly1

    I think it's a wonderful thing to see native fish swimming in a beautiful natural stream , , it's getting to be more & more  a rare sight here in Western North Carolina.

  • Nails Chrysanthemum

    I think you overly respect the Youtube community if you think it's a good idea to encourage people here to eat berries they find in the wood. Otoh, we coudl use a culling via natural selection, sooo….

  • Chris Henningsen

    Ironically, here in California, trying to live off the land would net you massive amounts of harassment and legal action against you, up to and including jail by the Forestry Service and BLM.

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