Bitterroot Valley - University of Denver

Bitterroot Valley - University of Denver

Bitterroot Valley Montana Water quantity and quality issues Bitterroot valley impaired stream *buildup of sediments released by erosion *road construction

*forest fires *logging *falling water levels in ditches and streams due to use for irrigation Watersheds eroded or at risk 200 pounds of fertilizer for each acre of land not sure how much ends up in the river

waste nutrients from septic tanks toxic minerals draining out of mines most serious water quality problem not occurring in the Bitterroot Increasing People/Decreasing Water Two largely separate water supplies Irrigation from ditches fed by mountain

streams, lakes or the Bitterroot River and water fields for agriculture Wells drilled into underground aquifers Larger towns have municipal water supplies While more rural houses have private wells Climate Change Montana is becoming warmer and drier

Most noticeable in Glacier National Forest Will need to change its name around 2030

150 glaciers in 1800s Down to 35 now Small fraction of their original size Bad because rainfall was barely adequate for agriculture before Way Of Life Very Right-wing conservative state

Especially true in the Bitterroot Montana being so vast and secluded from government that they dont trust the government Hardly any regulations on land use or zoning practices The people want the right to use their private land however they want to Currently, the capacity for the land to support its

owners is diminishing while population continues to grow and grow Old Timers / Newcomers Traditional old-timer Montana men being replaced by new generation of fast food and HBO non-laborers Farm owners concerned that their children

will not continue to run the farm but find jobs behind a computer instead Land Prices Lands ability to support its owner Very difficult to run a farm in Montana and make a decent living without multiple jobs Farm costs bigger than profits

Newcomers (retirees) are paying the higher land prices because they want to live there and are not concerned about profiting off of the land Land use shift from profit making to fun Californians can sell their house for a lot in Cali and live comfortably off of it for awhile in Montana

Whats Next? Opposing views Conservative hard workers - fun loving retirees A Compromise will have to be reached and some sort of regulation and zoning will be needed to help Montana transition into its new phase, whatever that may be

Leave farming to the Nebraskans?!?

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