Montana faces a number of problems from toxic wastes and problems in forestry, to poor soil, poor water quality, and poor air quality. One of these issues deeply rooted in history is poor water quality. Montana, being very dry has not been the most ideal environment for yielding crops, but this is not simplified by the problems with our water. In the past, the state was popular for metal mining. However, regulations for companies cleaning up toxic wastes were not created until the 1970s which meant that Montana has a large sum of pollution in the water left from many years ago. One dangerous mining technique was Cyanide heap-leading which contaminated drinking water and the water used for crops with cyanide. Additionally, logging became popular with booming industry and the need for houses. This along with improper methods for stopping forest fires led to a decrease in trees and increase of eroded materials into Montana’s waterways. Once again affecting the quality of water and the health of crops.
This is not an issue exclusive to Montana. Poor air quality and water quality are faced all over the world. Nonetheless we can learn from the Bitterroot Valley’s history, and understand that these issues are not brand new. They are problems that have developed overtime. We are undoing mistakes from the past, and we can use that to help us fix the problems in our future. Every territory faces its own challenges based on its history and the resources that made it desirable. For Montana we will be fighting to clean up the problems left from mining and forestry. However, New York and Tokyo may have to attack things on different levels due to their pasts.