A Mountain of a Problem

There are many types of environmental problems that not only the Bitterroot Valley of Montana is facing, but the entire state. These environmental problems are historical in nature. One environmental problem that I will be focusing on is the regions high amount of toxic waste, through commercial mining. Commercial mining was a major source of income many of the counties within Montana including Ravalli County. The mining of metals such as iron and gold, causes run off from the mines that seeps into the ground water of the region. This has occurred in Montana; the problem is that many of the laws that help maintain a safer environmental impact of mining were introduced after the mining boom of Montana. Companies that were mining in Montana do not have to clean up after the project, through different loopholes within the law, and many taxpayers in the area do not want to pay for the cleaning, choosing just to sweep it under the rug rather than confronting it head on. History has played a major part in the environmental problems that are facing Montana such as the amount of toxic waste that was produced through mining.

The Bitterroot Valley as well as Montana offer a good explanatory model for understanding the world’s environmental issue. Unlike other communities that have made decisions on the management of resources, researchers are able to understand the motives behind the decisions that were made. Understanding the motives of the community today can help understand the motives of the people of the past as well as the future. Although, the response to the environmental problems may not line up with all regions environmental problems, it could be a helpful indicator.