The condition of the Bitterroot Valley is degrading steadily. With the vast size of Montana and its relatively small population it is apparent that forty nine other states have are enjoying a steady importation of Montana’s natural resources. This is a trend that has repeated continuously, resources are found somewhere that they are not already being exploited. Then a scouting group heads to the area to identify which resources would be most beneficial to harvest. After that process is completed the target area is consumed rapidly until adverse effects start to appear, and by then it is usually many years to late. In the defense of those degrading the Bitterroot Valley it is very hard to support a family or township on other economic stimulants found in the area. Soil Composition, Erosion, Deforestation, displaced animal populations, and unnaturally dry conditions due to human intervention all effect the Bitterroot Valley negatively. All of these factors contribute to each other in the following scenario; the lumber industry cuts down trees close to a river that have deep taproots that were previously holding the river bank in place. The lack of support from now dead taproots causes a mudslide that dumps large amounts of nutrient depleted soil into the river. This large amount of soil now in the river causes local fish populations to begin to decrease. This decrease is noted by local predators who then move upriver, into unknown habitats, in search of food. Downriver the amount of soil now in the river caused a blockage that is now starving the ecosystem downriver of an adequate water supply. This lack of water then leads to further displacement of local species and can possibly lead to wildfires.
The Bitterroot Valley is a good model for unchecked human interaction with nature with economic incentives, regardless of location on the globe when people need money and vast amounts of natural resources are present in their vicinity, the local ecosystem takes the hit. The Bitterroot model can be applied to pre/post-Colonial Manhattan, Los Angeles, The Amazon Rainforest, and countless other situations where humans took advantage of loose environmental regulations and readily available natural resources.