Why Has Montana Never Grown to a Large Population?
The most obvious reason is the absence of real employment opportunities. Tourism and wildlife provide few opportunities to support a large population. While Montana’s economy is based on tourism, there aren’t enough jobs to sustain a real city. In the early days of westward migration, Montana had no large cities. But as the economy shifted westward, people kept moving until they reached the coast. Today, however, people from coastal cities are buying up Montana’s formerly rural and small towns.
The vast expanses of open land create the perfect habitat for various species of animals and plants. With more than 30 thousand farms and 100 species of mammals, the state remains undeveloped, making it vulnerable to attacks from predators. The vast, undeveloped areas also serve as a refuge for local residents, who must defend themselves against predators on a regular basis. The state is home to grizzly bears, which are now on the endangered species list.
The state is also home to several ski resorts and a thriving wine industry. But the local population of Montana is not keen on tourism and is reluctant to welcome visitors. Despite its natural beauty, it remains one of the few remaining “wild” states. While tourism may attract newcomers, it can overwhelm existing populations. The best way to protect this state’s wildlife is to make it as hospitable as possible.