Montana’s Bitterroot Valley currently faces several environmental problems that are suffered by many parts of the country, but which are perhaps more noticeable on this smaller scale and in this breathtaking setting. These issues include a rapid increase in population; immigration; decreasing air, soil, and water quality; wildfires; and climate change. Many of these problems are most certainly historical in nature, for instance population increase and immigration. After the Lewis and Clark expedition brought back such positive news about the area which is now Montana, and when mountain men and miners began moving in afterward, Montana first began its descent into being a worse and worse kept secret, and rightfully so. Although Montana is not nearly as populated as the rest of the country, certain areas have definitely seen a steady increase in people moving in. With more people comes more of an exhaustion of resources, naturally, and I suppose you could say climate change is also a historical issue considering that the climate has always been changing.
I believe that many of the environmental problems Montana and the Bitterroot Valley faces can be applied on a larger scale and used as a sort of model for the rest of the world, but I don’t believe that the problems show up quite as extremely here as elsewhere. Immigration, for example has become somewhat of a major issue in this country and will need to be controlled eventually. This is also the case for Montana, I suppose. However, it will take much longer for the population and influx of people to get out of hand. I think the reason why these problems are such a big deal here is because they are affecting such a beautiful place which many feel the need to preserve as much as possible.