Today in the Bitterroot Valley there lies two major environmental issues, water quality and forest fire danger. Such problems are historical problems that follow all human settlements. All human settlements face issues of water and fires, but with climate change and increasing human settlement fire and water issues can only be expected to become worse. In short, the fire and water problems being faced in the Bitterroot Valley have been seen throughout human history, and can thus be viewed as a historical problem.
I believe Montana is a perfect example of how the environment is changing. I’ve lived here my whole life, and my family has been here since the Indian Wars, and every year the fires get worse and worse. It seems that each year the smoke gets thicker and the fires last longer. When I was just a kid I remember being able to go camping with a campfire in late August, but now it’s too smokey to even go outside much less have a campfire. Another example that I personally see that shows the environment changing is the receding glaciers every year. My home is in Kalispell Montana near Glacier Park, and every year the glaciers in the park are smaller and smaller every year. I might not be a scientist, but something is changing every year here in my home and I’m not sure it’s for the better.