Sometime last month Montana’s population tipped over the million mark.
Bumper sticker commentary is already out, decorating many a dusty pick-up and shiny Subaru, scrappy dog smiling out the back:
Montana is full. Go home.
Read that with the menacing tone of bearded-weapons-stockpiling-recluse, and its nearly as good as my all-time favorite, first seen while I was actually working on the Yellowstone Wolf Project: Kill All the Goddamn Wolves and the People Who Brought Them Here. Read it in any other tone and it just sounds kind of bitchy, given that much of the population came here from inferior states in the first place.
I get it though. We love Montana for its expansiveness… for its rugged, open spaces, ornery cowboys, and charismatic megafauna. Subdivisions don’t fit into that mystique. But still, on average there are under seven people per square mile in this big ol’ state, the fourth largest in the country. New York City alone has and average over 27,000 people living in each of it’s square miles, and a population of over eight million. Of course there isn’t much use in comparing fat juicy oranges and small wild apples, but my point is, I think we can handle a million faces and still protect our resources without getting our undergarments too twisted up.
Knowing others vehemently disagree, to decrease my chances of being shot in the street for uttering such blasphemy, I give you this. Sure to turn away any would-be import, except perhaps for the most avid tossing-rocks-at-beavers enthusiast.