Blog Week 2
Today the Bitterroot Valley is facing a quite a few environmental complications. Some are obvious, but for others you have to dig a little deeper both visually and literally. A few of the evident problems are mining, logging, water quality, and land management. The mining that has occurred in the Bitterroot Valley has been somewhat of an environmental disaster, as mining companies have had no consideration for their impact on the environment. The toxic waste that comes with mining was not being dealt with properly or at all. The waste is poisoning the whole valley and has an effect on just about everything in the valley. The logging industry has caused many problems as well. Clearcutting not only promotes erosion and poor water quality but also is very visually displeasing. Montana is getting warmer and drier and that is causing lands to be abandoned due to water shortages. The land management aspect goes along with not respecting the lands future capabilities and only focusing on the now. Ranchers overrun livestock on the land leaving it unusable for years. Said problems are both historical and contemporary issues, primarily the result of the errant land practices of post native immigrants to the valley.
The Bitterroot Valley is a great model to look at relative to our world environmental issues. However it is a model of how not to do things. Unfortunately, the pioneers of the mining, logging and ranching industry in Montana were not aware of their long term impact they would have on their environment. Now we can take the flaws that are highlighted in the valley and develop more environmentally conscious practices.