Living with nature

Trine has made her great passion, dog mushing, into a way of living.

Along with her passion for nature, comes a worry about the growing industrial interest in the vast mineral resources of the north.

Trine lives in Melkefoss with her family. She is educated a teacher, but left schoolwork to pursue her dreams. She is now a small scale entrepreneur with her own tourist company Birk Husky.

"We only have one nature, I think we ought to guard it"

One year as a teacher at Pasvik folkehøgskole gave Trine the chance to teach dog mushing to the students at this ”open air” school. After the year had ended, she stood without a job, but with a renewed belief in taking people out in the woods with the dogs, sharing the love for nature with them.

She started her company Birk Husky, and has gone through years of trial and error, as many small scale entrepreneurs seem to do. Today the business is running, and every year tourists from Europe have the chance to taste local food and visit the area in summer, and move into the forests with dogs and sleds in the winter.

Trine also has stood out as a spokesperson for the environment. When the iron ore mine Sydvaranger Gruve started their quest for iron ore in 2009, with Australian investment backing, she started a Facebook group who demands that the company must stop poisonous spills in the fjord.

When having guests, she always gives tourists the opportunity to ask questions about the area. In this film we can hear a German tourist ask if she speaks Finnish and Sami language, seen that she has this background. She says “no, unfortunately not”. The longer answer is that her family, like so many others in this region, has lost this language to assimilation.

Sydvaranger Gruve AS has been heavily criticised since the opening in 2009 for not taking due cautiousness in environmental issues.

CEO at Sydvaranger Gruve AS, Ismo Haaparanta, said, in a comment to this film, to that mining will always have an impact on the environment, and that it is his vision to run the mine as environmentally sustainable as possible, within the permits and legislation given by Norwegian authorities.

The Norwegian government, as well as international interests, are eager to further exploit the mineral resources of the high north. Norway is one of few countries that allow tailing of mineral waste into its fjords.

This story was first published in 2013.

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2 Replies

  1. Hello, A few weeks ago I discovered your part of the world. I’m fascinated your beautifull, wild nature and your ways of life – a specially with dog mushing. Thanks your blog I can achive more awearnes about living on the boarder of the 3 countries. I come from Bielsko-Biała in the south Poland, near Czech Rep. and Slovakia. Our history of WWII is a similar under German and Russia occupation. In my family I had lots of cases like yours, when friends was separated for the years by agrresors;( Other way, the dangerous for enviroment from industry is like a story of the movie with Steven Segal – I forgot the title of the movie. Frankly, the World don’t know nothing about industry war with enviroment in Norway. I can not imagine how easly the goverment accepted it. I’m folling love in your fjords the one of most valuable and amaizing nature. Thank you for your sharing the stories;) I will be visit your blog, please keep going! Best Regards, Lucjan

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