The Native Americans who relied upon the abundant resources of the Gallatin Valley once knew it as the “Valley of Flowers.” A mosaic of twisting streams, braided through lush woodlands and meadows, with game trails crisscrossing the distance between the Bridger and the Gallatin ranges. For current day inhabitants to envision this setting, the vast wetland complex teeming with swans, ducks and other waterfowl interspersed among the elk, bison, moose, and bear would, frankly, require a good deal of imagination.
As Bozeman rushes to accommodate its burgeoning economy and the rapid influx of individuals and families moving here in search of clean air and the great outdoors, we are forced to build new homes, commercial buildings and infrastructure. To make room for people, we are forced to sacrifice the remaining wetlands and natural areas in the valley. But does it have to be so?