The Curse and Blessing of Montana

The Curse and Blessing of Montana

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The Curse and Blessing of Montana

Montana seems to be one of those states that most people either love or hate. It is so distinct from any other state that it is no wonder this is the case. Montana is in so many ways such a great state to live in, with a wide variety of recreation, hobbies, and other enjoyable pastimes; however, many problems plague the state, from its lack of modern conveniences to its poor job opportunities. What many people do not realize is how much these good and bad characteristics are related.

There are innumerable examples of Montana's good qualities, far too many to name all of them, but several of these examples are the recreation, history and beauty of Montana. Recreation in Montana includes sports like biking, skiing, hiking, and a many more outdoor recreational activities. The wide open areas create almost endless possibilities for outdoor recreation, and the relatively small population decreases the clutter along lakes, trails, streams, and other venues for recreation. Also, the small population and large open spaces have a preserving effect on Montana's historical buildings, monuments, and other objects of historical significance and interest. Montana is able to keep these historical sites safe because demand for these sites both for industrialization and by the general population is not too great. The small population and large open areas also allow for a broad range of wildlife habitation, which is excellent for both recreational activities like hunting and fishing and for wildlife viewing. Montana's beautiful and varied landscapes are also remarkable to view. The towering, craggy mountains; vast, spectacular forests; massive, grassy plains; and numerous lakes, rivers, and streams, many of which are very sparsely populated, are magnificent to behold. All these pleasurable aspects of Montana are direct results of its generally rural environment and would not be possible without this characteristic. It is evident that those who love Montana are most likely in love with its rural setting.

Most of the reasons people dislike Montana are also directly related to its ruralness. Some of these reasons include difficult access to conveniences taken for granted in many areas of the U.S., the complete absence of other conveniences, and limited job opportunities. Because Montana is rural, many businesses are only attracted to the larger cities within the state. Because of this, many Montanans not living in these places must drive longer distances than would normally be required in most states to reach these businesses.

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Even worse, many major businesses available in most states do not come to Montana at all, because of the small population and the correspondingly small demand for the businesses products and services. The lack of these companies forces Montanans to search out alternative, and often less high-quality, sources for these goods. This lack of business in Montana also has an adverse effect on the workforce, creating only a limited number of job choices and generally lower pay than would be expected in most states. The ruralness of Montana creates many jobs in traditional fields, but the lack of many larger, high-tech businesses limits high-paying positions within the state.

This leads to the conclusion that the ruralness of Montana, and what value is placed on it, will dictate whether one loves or hates the state. Are things like outdoor entertainment, rich historical background and beautiful living conditions important? Or are things like convenience, better career choices and greater pay preferred? Is the ruralness of Montana a curse or a blessing? This controversy explains the strong opinions many have about the state, and, moreover, the reasons that people either love or hate Montana.
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