Wheel of Weather (Bitterroot Valley Edition)

I agree that Montana is a perfect example of the various environmental problems facing the world, however i do not agree that mining in Montana is the largest contributor to the socio-trophic cascade facing the state today. I believe it is people such as Diamond, who come to the Bitterroot Valley seeking refuge or relaxation, then decide to stay or buy a home and live in the valley part time.This migration adds to the argument that no where in the world is really untouched, as well as the change in ecosystems, leading to the pollution of our current water supply. This semi-permanent residence also impacts the ability to work and survive within the Bitterroot Valley, resulting in the loss of animals due to increased hunting/fishing, originally leisure activities now a means of survival for some.

The Bitterroot Valley is a good example of not only the various examples of the environmental problems plaguing the world today, particularly because it encompasses so many different ecological habitats in one general area. Mainly mountainous and grasslands, Montana also experiences extreme winters as well as dry periods, though not as extreme as other deserts even within the United States.


5 thoughts on “Wheel of Weather (Bitterroot Valley Edition)”

  1. This is a really interesting perspective, to paint Diamond as the sort of antagonist of this scenario. I hadn’t considered that and agree completely. His own article would hardly have been likely to consider himself as part of the problem so it makes sense that he would find something causing lots of problems, but perhaps not the most major thing. Very insightful.

  2. Hey Ariella! I do agree with you that Montana does have a large number of people migrating to live here, I do not believe that it is the biggest environmental problem that Montana faces right now. It does indeed drive up real estate prices, and can make jobs harder to come by but the environmental impact is significantly smaller than a lot of other issues. For example the majority of the toxins in our water and soil come from a combination of mining and fertilizer runoff. And now a days most migrating to Montana are coming here for leisure activities and not to partake in the mining and farming industry. I do agree that it is definitely a problem but there are other issues that are more pressing.

  3. Reading your post, I like that you have a different take on the situation than most of the others. That said, while I agree that immigration into the Bitterroot Valley affects the environment in a negative way -e.g. Loss of habitat and increased water stress, I would argue that it isn’t the most pressing threat. The amount of usable water, most of which comes from groundwater sources, is decreasing and is going to be a major problem in the next couple of decades. Regarding this, the increasing amount of people in the valley can only cause more damage, which in turn does affect all other parts local ecosystem, but maybe not as severely as other factors like intensive agricultural practices or deforestation.

  4. I believe there are many contributors to the issues Montana faces and the migration of people is one of them, but I do not agree it is the main contributor. With more people moving to Montana and specifically, the Bitterroot Valley, environmental changes are inevitable. More people are present to abuse the land and its resources. I believe that there are other factors such as farming and mining as others have stated. I do agree with the second part of your statement. The Bitterroot Valley is great to study because of the diverse natural land. I loved your perspective on all of this!

  5. I would have to say that I agree with your point, but there is always a counter to it. These people that come here for summers and vacation homes do bring a unique aspect because they bring in tourism, which brings money and jobs to the state. With Montana currently being one of the poorer, uneducated states, jobs that involve tourists are open to a lot of people and may provide a good living. Hunting guides, fishing guides, ranch tours, these are all unique experiences that require people who worked in those fields to put their skills to work, and also charge a fee which has the potential to be used to benefit local companies and farmers.

Leave a Reply