Three main problems are currently being faced in the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana. These problems include the decreasing quality of water, fire safety, and the societal battle that occurs when it comes to fire safety. The quality of water is becoming an issue due to multiple causes. One being the constant runoff of fertilizer that is being used in the agricultural industry. This runoff seeps into the ground and whatever isn’t used up by the field eventually ends up in the rivers and streams that run throughout Montana. Another cause of the decreasing water quality is mining. Mined ores such as copper can also be washed out of mines by rainfall and deposited into water sources throughout the state. The second issue plaguing Montana is the growing concern in fire safety. This issue has two sides to it because forest fires are a large problem in Montana and the best way to prevent them is by removing trees from densely forested areas. The reason this is difficult is because the residents of Montana do not want to see their beautiful dense forests thinned out. These problems are not very historical in nature because they are all mostly related to humans. There would be no water quality issue without human agriculture, nor would there be a concern for fire safety.
I believe the Bitterroot Valley is a good starting point when it comes to understanding the world’s environmental issues. It does this well because it is a very secluded but loved area of the United States. This means that these issues are going to hit this area first due to it being so isolated and less prioritized over larger cities and more densely populated areas. However, it should only be used as a starting point due to these same reasons. Larger cities in different areas will have different problems that aren’t as obvious as the ones in Montana, but there will also be problems that are more obvious and easier to identify due to the mass population.