In the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, there are a variety of environmental issues, including climate change, logging, and water quality. Although some of these problems seem to be historical in nature, for example, fires have been lit via lightning for centuries; however, the destruction of much of forested land because of fires is due mainly to anthropogenic activities such as putting all fires out immediately, rather than letting them burn naturally. But, for a majority of problems I listed, they are not historical in nature, instead they are mainly caused by anthropogenic activities that have started in the last century or so. The water quality problems have been caused by increased soil erosion due to crop-and-fallow farming and the run-off fertilizer from farming, as well. Climate change has been caused by humans cutting trees down (logging) which in turn causes higher water temperature around areas that were previously shaded which means that certain fish species have trouble breeding in those areas.
Although a variety of environmental issues exist within the Bitterroot Valley that also exist elsewhere, I don’t believe that it’s a good model for understanding the world’s environmental issues. For one, I think that the Bitterroot Valley is much less populated than the rest of the world that deals with similar environmental issues. Due to the lower population density, I think that the model for the rest of the world is much more complex. Also, in general, the Bitterroot Valley is much less diverse than the rest of the world, which means that although people have differing values, they do not differ as sharply as the views in the rest of the world. The Bitterroot Valley is also less industrialized than the majority of the world making the rest of the world’s problems much more immediate than the ones in the valley.