Environmental Change In The Bitterroot Valley: Too Close To Home

The Bitterroot Valley is currently faced with numerous problems today as stated by Jared Diamond himself. In Diamond’s book Collapse he list the following as the major problems affecting the Bitterroot Valley: toxic waste, which in turn causes destruction towards the air, soil, water and the ecosystem as a whole. Other major problems include climate change and losses involving life in the ecosystem. One of the most prominent causes of the destruction to the Bitterroot Valley is the toxic waste caused by years of mining. The most familiar mining in this area is metal mining which has a jurassic effect on the ecosystem around the area the metal was extracted from. The mining not only damages the landscape when you tear apart an area but you also must factor in they have large machine polluting the air with all there carbon emissions. When mining for metal there are often sights near the mine to place the tailings from the mine, these tailings often have metals in there chemical state which if not managed carefully can affect the nearby soil or water. This causes the land around this sight to then become contaminated with these chemicals which in turn can negatively affect the local wildlife. I personally believe that these changes in the ecosystem of the bitterroot valley are primarily caused by humans taking advantage of the land and destroying it. These problems have been occurring for years in the Bitterroot valley proving that historically (depending on how far back you go) this has been a problem here and in many other areas like it for years.

I believe the Bitterroot Valley and Montana as a whole is a great place to use as an example of what an environment should and should not look like. Take a place in Montana and show off its natural beauty and remind society of what the environment should look like but also show places like the Pit in Butte Montana to show what happens when a landscape is destroyed.

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