The TRAIL to BIG SKY COUNTRY!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: March 4, 2024

What brings people to Montana? What brought you to Montana? Why do people return to Montana? Why do people leave Montana?

The Treasure State is truly a remarkable place to visit and live. People have been coming into Big Sky Country for the same reasons for centuries. Native peoples would gather to soak in the hot springs, fish in the rivers, hunt in the mountains, and thrive. The cultures blended and interacted. Some people enjoyed others while some just wanted things to stay the same. 

In the past some folks were forced here, fought to be here, were stuck here, or came here with their jobs. Many people loved the change, but not all. Montana is a hard place to live. Winters can be ferocious, forest fires can be devastating, and rural living is not for everyone. Because of these, and other reasons, Montana has a population that stays around one million residents. Many came and come here to seek their fortune but not all succeed. 

Tourism is certainly a big reason for people coming to Montana. Our wonderful National Parks, wild west heritage, fishing, hunting, skiing, clean air and crisp atmosphere, critters, freedom, and strong sense of community are attractive to newcomers. The great outdoors peaks, plains, and valleys are beautiful. When a River Runs Through It, Montana calls out to many.

Montana is also 25 years ago. This means more remote and fewer choices. Distances to get services or needs can be measured in hours rather than miles/minutes. Our cities are far apart. Transportation is limited and help, or services are not always convenient or available. 

To be a Montanan takes time. Adapting and adjusting to this unique place requires several seasons. Accepting Big Sky Country for what it is, needs to overpower making it something from somewhere else. 

The American Dream is alive and well in Montana. Many pioneers came here to make their fortunes. Others now visit to spend theirs. Some cities are exploding in growth as folks move here for a better life. These same areas are being bought up by wealthy investors. This leaves out the rest of the citizens that can’t afford to live here. Big Sky has become the exclusive playground for the wealthy. 

Our wild places are being loved to death. This is reflected in our damaged trout fisheries, increased forest fires, crowded camping, excessive traffic, development, and changes. Not everyone appreciates the loss of access to our wild places. Crime and common undesirable issues related to crowded communities are not welcome. Traditional heritage, hunting, trapping, and fishing are either overexploited or disapproved of. 

Change is inevitable. Hopefully the trail to Big Sky Country will stay free and open to all. We all need to keep the special passion that makes Montana a breathtaking, beautiful, and great place to live. 

We are fortunate to live in Montana. 

Montana Grant

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