Bitterroot Forests Need Attention

Jared Diamond talks in-depth of the environmental issues that the Bitterroot Valley of Montana faces in his work “Under Montana’s Big Sky”. These issues include toxic wastes, pollutions of air, water, and soil, as well as forestry issues from logging, climate change issues, invasive pests that are not native to Montana, and biodiversity losses (Diamond, p. 35). He talks about how these issues, while alone may not cause as big of issues, combined they are causing problems within the Bitterroot Valley that are becoming increasingly difficult to solve. We know that these issues are historical in nature as we can study the past societies of Polynesia, Anasazi, Maya, and Greenland Norse and the effects that the environment, as well as those civilizations faced because they chose to ignore their mistakes.

Areas of heavily forested lands, in particular the Bitterroot Valley offer good explanatory models for understanding world’s environmental issues, in particular issues that have arose from logging. I understand that people want to preserve the natural looks of the forests, but because of mistakes made when logging, I believe that residents need to allow government employees to take preventative actions against forest fires. Diamond discusses that fuel loads are the biggest issue when attempting to manage wild fires in the west (Diamond, p. 45-46). While I also agree in not wanting taxes rose to fix the mistake of logging companies, I also acknowledge that we as tax payers need to accept that if we want living forests, officials need to get in and thin out the under growth of our forests.