GONE IN A GENERATION
March 8, 2019
Michael Golden has hunted elk on this mountain in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley his entire life. It’s a tradition he shared with his father. But his son is growing up in a starkly different environment.
Montana has warmed 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950, considerably more than the United States as a whole. That added heat is contributing to raging forest fires and bark beetle outbreaks, a combination that has devastated the state’s forests.
What Golden and his son have witnessed is part of a broader trend. The forests have seen so much damage that Montana’s trees, which had provided the crucial function of pulling carbon dioxide from the air, are sending the greenhouse gas back into the atmosphere.