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(MountainJournal) Unnatural Disaster: Will America’s Most Iconic Wild Ecosystem Be Lost To A Tidal Wave Of People?


Before us, and stretching for nearly 40 miles to the next muted horizon is the Gallatin Valley, one of the fastest-growing semi-rural settings in America. Carpenter, known for his work as a career land use planner, says it won’t be long, given current trend-lines, before the vast chasm of space fills in with exurban development.

Yes, it’s a fact in the Anthropocene: places grow and inevitably change. I’ve been fortunate to view some of the more spectacular undiscovered ones firsthand in my reporting around the world, but what Carpenter says has radically altered the way I think about the place I call home—the place that I assumed given the huge base of public lands would always be protected.

It’s made me realize no other models from elsewhere can be imported to resolve what’s currently happening rapidly in Greater Yellowstone, the wildest corner of the Lower 48 states.


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