The environmental problems that Bitterroot Valley faces is sadly a very long list, it starts with toxic wastes pumped into it from the mines, since its conception. It also has a lack of clean water. It has poor air quality, high risk for wildfires, and forest deterioration. The loss of biodiversity is ironically countered with invasive species. To top it all off they are also suffering the various effects of climate change. These problems are absolutely historical in nature, since the town began off of a copper mine and lumber mill. The pollution of industrialization has only been getting worse over time, dramatically more so in urbanized areas, so it is useful to observe the issues facing Bitterroot as a comparative study. In early settlement years we have very few records of who developed what, how they did so, and most importantly why they did it that way. The urbanization of Montana that is happening in our lifetime is a valuable look into the possible developmental stages of other pre-industrialized societies.
These problems found in Bitterroot valley are not theirs to face alone, it is merely a representation of the worlds problems found in one area. In any region you study there are shared effects of the urban burn of humanity and climate change. The mining, logging, irrigation, and agricultural developments that helped to found Bitterroot, is now the poison killing it. These polluting industries are set up all over Montana, all over the world, the repercussions for them will be felt globally as well. Nobody will stop trying to do their job, everyone wants to keep the luxury lifestyle offered to us by modernization, and most of all nobody wants responsibility. If we take a hard look at how we create the society around us, maybe we can think of a way to structure humanity that will not poison everything, including ourselves.