Montana is losing it’s roots and people are bitter

Erica Dobrowski

Week 02


  1. The Bitterroot Valley faces a lot of issues other more populated states faced years ago. Growing up here and witnessing all the change first hand, I agree the same this is happening in Montana. Montana is losing farmland to subdividers and the farming tradition is slowly dying. On top of that, out of staters have been moving in more as the years past. I’m pretty sure half of Bozeman’s population is from California. These types of problems are indeed historical in nature because out of staters like Hat Otto Teller work to preserve the natural land from becoming urbanized. With the new flow out of staters populating Montana, things are starting to change. Montana oldtimers are realizing there needs to be more government involvement and regulations. People are coming together to preserve the land and to protect the nature and wildlife. Locals want less population, less subdivision, less mining and less tourism, but at this rate, Montana is going to continue to grow and agriculture is going to continue to fade.
  2. I personally do think that Montana’s issues are a good model for the rest of the world’s environmental issues on some level, but not every aspect. Montana is far behind from the modern world still. We are the fourth biggest state in the country and the 3rd least populated. Population everywhere is rising, but in Montana, it has been rapid. Because of this, Montana is losing its open range to subdividers just like all the other states have. Montana is showing the symptoms of becoming urbanized just like the other countries  

7 thoughts on “Montana is losing it’s roots and people are bitter”

  1. Intriguing argument, as someone who grew up in Montana too I resonate with your concerns. You mentioned the influx of population, especially from California, and it made me wonder how their presence will impact future environmental decisions. With Montana’s increasing population and allocation of land to conservation or consumption, it is important to raise the question of which use will have the greater percentage of land. Certainly it would be ideal to preserve all the land from an environmental standpoint, while from an economic view the value of the land is also worth mentioning, especially to those wanting to escape and willing to pay any price. In the years to come it will be interesting to see what direction Montana decides to go,continuing to preserve the natural beauty, as the current demographic seems to desire, or to follow the path of other western states and give into the modernization.

  2. Someone once told me “If a town/city isn’t growing, its dying”. This has always stuck with me because I am from out of state, and I feel guilty for being a part of the problem that Montana locals complain so much about. I find solace in the words I was told because I also find truth in them. Change is inevitable, no society anywhere is going to be the same in 20 years or even 20 days. I believe a balance is to be found at some point between maintaining natural beauty and traditional values but also ensuring the economic, social, and physical well-being of every single inhabitant of the state, local or not local. Research shows us that Montana is not the most viable and profitable land for agriculture, and industry lately is based off of tourism. While there are obvious setbacks to that- there could be many many worse industries (say, mining or lumber).

  3. I agree that Montana has brought in a lot of people. And that it has a very big effect on the locals and the environment. Because of the sudden increase in population, they have to open more room for housing, plumbing and infrastructures. As a result farm lands will become less popular because they take up so much room. As a local, I have noticed huge changes in the environment and the culture of the Montana society. In terms of Montana being “far behind” in the “modern world” is in fact a false statement. Montana may have less of a population but is not in anyway behind in society. We still get the latest cars, the latest computers and the latest entertainment. We also have some of the best farming equipment in the US which we are one biggest contributors to the sugar industry hence the sugar beats. Yes we don’t have as many fancy cars as LA or Phoenix, but that’s because they are impracticable due to weather and the amount of snow we get. We’re not behind modern society, were with it but in the way we have to adapt with the environment.

  4. I agree with what you said about people from all parts of the country flocking to Montana. I think that once people living in areas that are too crowded fell like they want somewhere less developed and more natural they will leave and look for new places to live. This is why Montana is attracting so many people. Especially people from California who may feel that their state is getting to crowded or too polluted. Montana is most likely one of the first states people think of when it comes it vast space and beautiful nearly untouched surroundings, hence why it is seeing a population increase. I think that this is beneficial for the economy of Montana but very harmful to the environment. Not all but many people who come to Montana from different states are less concerned with the preservation of its natural beauty and more concerned with seeing all its beautiful views and finding wildlife. Unfortunately wherever there is open space there will continue to be migration to that area.

  5. I do agree with the majority of your comments. One sentence that stood out to me was the one that starts “Locals want less…” This stands out to me because as a local I don’t agree with this entirely. I think the population is growing too fast for comfort and would like to see it slowed. However, I think more tourists would be healthy because it supports local businesses and those people are not staying for good. For me, mining can go both ways I think small amounts of mining can be good for jobs but the mining companies need to make sure they are using safe practices.

  6. Everyday outsiders are changing my home and the home of my family for the last 150 years, and one of the side effects of more people is the death of the natural world. Montana’s natural beauty is most likely doomed to the same fate as the rest of the country, and I personally will most likely leave in search of greener pastures(less people). The environment is just one of many negative aspects changing in my home, but it’s the most obvious to see the damage. This state needs no more people, and in my opinion needs a whole lot less, and things will only get worse.

  7. As most people are saying if you grew up in Montana you can see the changes that are happening around. I’m a local from Montana and its crazy how much has changed within the last 10 years or so. Having an understanding from an inside view helps people look at Montana from an outside perspective. People can see the draw that Montana has. Its a beautiful place that most nonlocal don’t understand what makes it so unique. Land needs to be preserved. I also agree that Montana is behind from the modern world. But soon it will be a place full of population and urbanization.

Comments are closed.