Yes, house hunting in Bozeman can be frustrating (as described in the Jan. 24 HCN, "Montana Town Puts Out the Unwelcome Mat"). But unlike others profiled in that story, I don't exclusively blame footloose entrepreneurs, Californians or Hollywood stars for this and other growth-related problems.
While not always to our liking, change is inevitable. Human communities, much like natural communities, are dynamic and ever-evolving. We can influence these patterns of change, preserve the best of our past and prepare for the challenges of the future. But this won't happen without a great deal of thoughtful planning and committed action. The participation of everyone who values the region's natural and cultural amenities - from recent arrival to fourth-generation rancher - is equally important.
Let's not kid ourselves, this ain't gonna be easy. But while finger-pointing is understandable, it will not solve problems. In the long run, becoming a regular at planning board meetings will prove far more constructive.
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