Dé·jà vu

The environmental problems that Bitterroot Valley currently faces have come to no surprise to many people in Montana. The first is the move from subsistence hunting and fishing to recreation. We now see an enormous boom in recreation hunting and fishing with the help of tourism. The second would be the want for more private land and less land use for growing. Just like the apple orchards in Bitterroot Valley which not only help humans but help the animals around too.

These changes are not historical in nature because all the changes here are man-made. The railroad, lumber removal even the apple orchards I praised early are not natural. All brought or made by humans. There may be small population but a large part of Montana has been altered.

The Bitterroot Valley but also Montana in general is a great explanatory model for understanding the world’s environmental issues. One reason that was generously described “Under Montana’s Big Sky” was the ability to watch Bitterroot Valley/ Montana’s population increase and decrease over time. Another observation that we observer over time is the landscaping changed at an alarming rate for human combustion.  Lumber removal and irrigation in the 1860 shows the first of this transition. From toxic waste to invasive species and even all the way up the ladder to global warming we can watch these negative effects take a bite out of the Bitterroot valley and Montana’s natural beauties. The crazy thing about Montana is that it has so many resources. Some examples are but not limited to mining, fishing, animal migration, high and low altitudes, and even some high deserts we are able to compare the negative effects we see to other parts of the world.

4 thoughts on “Dé·jà vu”

  1. Firstly, I appreciated and enjoyed your discussion on environmental issues within the Bitterroot Valley that was not overly emphasized by other blog discussions, including your perspective on the apple orchards that dominated the valley during the late 19th century. As you stated, I believe one of the most alarming issues beyond any of the direct issues discussed by Diamond is the effect each issue has on the agriculture industry in all of Montana, as it is vital to feeding our livestock and ourselves.
    I disagree, however, that an environmental issue or change is not historical in nature simply because it was caused by humans. Although humans are only part of a tiny fraction of history, our impact, especially on the environment, is undoubtedly historical. Human impacts like these have the power to affect our state and our world into the present. As we discussed in class, humans are an important piece to the natural-cultural cycle that is quite evident in this article.

  2. I strongly agree with you that Montana can offer itself as a strong model for world environmental issues because of how clearly it shows to results of change. When certain changes come around in this state such as you referred to in the lumber industry and irrigation demand then the results of those changes become clear as day in evidence such as loss of fish spawning habitat and eventually lower populations. But with these changes I really think they have historical value due to the lasting effects of certain things such as logging, mining and ranching. Now we are left with forests that are more prone to fire since trees are younger and have less thick bark and dams holding back toxic water that could destroy downstream ecosystems. Those things can be very historically important in the long term.

  3. I definitely agree with your point that everything is man-made. It is hard to even imagine what the world would look like without the influence of people. Just as how vegetation follows the paths of people and uses its power over them, I have to assume that other aspects of this earth are similar. It is strange to be a part of a society that doesn’t understand or recognize its own toll it takes on a place. The crazy growth of the population is damaging enough itself. When you add pollution, deforestation, mining, building, growing, killing, on top of it, its no wonder so much of the world is in distress. I think it is easier for people to place the blame on nature, or other countries, or other states, or even other people, when, in reality, each person does cause a lot of damage to this earth.

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