The bitterroot valley faces problems of pollution, drought, wildfires, and other environmental problems. These problems were in part brought on by the need to make money off the natural resources of the land. Some of them were brought about by the very things people thought would protect them, such as fire suppression and not allowing logging. Some of these problems are historical in nature. However, it seems that the more regulations they put in place to solve historical problems, the more new problems arise.
When trying to understand a large-scale problem such as environmental issues, it is smart to use a smaller model. In this way, the environmental problems of the bitterroot are a good metaphor. However, the problems that the valley faces were in part caused by the industry and ways of life of people in the valley, and in this way are unique to that area and not like the problems facing other areas of the world. Using this as a model for society as a whole would be extremely short sighted, because it would lead one to ignore other problems of greater importance. The attitudes of the residents were also brought up, and these attitudes will differ in different areas of the world. In some places the inhabitants are less suspicious of environmental regulations than in Montana, and these places may have less problems arising from industry and more from the overpopulation and lifestyle. The way the people in an area think has the ability to impact their environment.