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Old 10-01-2018, 10:50 AM
Location: East of the Mississippi
1 posts, read 532 times
Reputation: 25


Regarding wildlife....Having spent some time in Yellowstone National Park for several summers since 1998 and in the surrounding larger ecosystem, the most important thing I would have to say is to be aware of your surroundings. Generally if you make noise, travel in groups, and carry bear spray...then you should be good. Stay away from areas where bears are feeding or have their young. If in doubt, there are so many places that could be alternatives. I fish quite a bit out there. Make sure your bear spray is accessible. Having it tucked in your backpack is not a good place. I keep mine on my belt. If I am going through an area where I have seen bear sign or it just looks prime...I carry it with the safety off (just be careful not to fire it on accident...also don't leave it in a hot car). Bear spray works. The absolute thing that you do not want to do is surprise a bear. The next worst thing is to have not have a way to deter that bear. edit: I will add that while I want no part of a grizzly encounter, one of the great things about Montana is that it still has places that are wild enough to support grizzlies. It has been my experience that those bears are found in the places(in the lower 48) with the cleanest water and air. So, them being there is a good sign that those places are still wild.

Having been through Bozeman/Belgrade quite a bit, I have found the people there to be similar to most cities. I have been all over the world, and I find that cities have folks that are cool and some who aren't. Where you live is often what you make of it. If you make an effort, in most cases things go well. Any move always involves a bit of culture shock as things are just different wherever you go. It takes some getting used to. I like Bozeman, and would surmise that it is a nice community to live and raise a family. It has excellent schools BTW.

Lastly, I would not limit your search to just Bozeman. One thing that is something to consider is that home prices are definitely higher there when compared to other cities in Montana. Now, I would live there (if I had an opportunity) in a heartbeat, but just make sure your budget allows for the prices that come with that beautiful view. But that is true with most moves to any new city. Helena, Kalispell, Missoula, and Billings are all within reasonable drives of decent mountains and skiing. Billings is more in the Plains, but is within an hour's drive of the Beartooths which includes Red Lodge(skiing) and is just a couple of hours from YNP. Billings is also a couple of hours from the Bighorns which so far do not have grizzlies. Housing prices are a bit more reasonable there, but obviously not w the view that Bozeman offers. Often in Montana, you are going to have to spend a few hours in the car in order to arrive at a great place. It is a big state w lots of empty space in between cities - which I like.

Also..."life is life" no matter where you go. I think many folks move to escape their past way of life only to find the same problems waiting for them when they arrive at their new destination. What I like about Montana is the opportunity to be outside in one of the planet's most beautiful locations. One of the great things about summer(crowds are a blessing and a curse) is the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. The area really is a hub for people traveling to Glacier or YNP or many of the other great places to see and experience in the region. Sure there are unappealing parts to many regions, and I always appreciate the posters who "just tell it like it is"...better to find out on a forum than once you get there.

Good luck w your move. I consider those who live in Montana to be very fortunate.

Last edited by wintergrizzly; 10-01-2018 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:08 PM
Location: Charleston, SC
41 posts, read 16,994 times
Reputation: 33
My flight is booked! I'm heading out for 8 days in late March. I'm very, very excited.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:56 AM
Location: Earth
1,444 posts, read 3,602,854 times
Reputation: 850
Gallatin & Flathead County are booming ... best way to ruin places like these is to keep adding more people. I posted this on another thread ... it's worth referencing as you explore options. https://headwaterseconomics.org/econ...-construction/
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:59 PM
2,879 posts, read 3,622,136 times
Reputation: 2211
Development concerns are appropriate, important. But the 1.3 million acres "developed" in last 26 years also only represents 1.4% of Montana's total acreage. An average of 50,000 acres per year is noticeable, impactful but development has changed Montana less than most states.

The development is concentrated and of higher impact in a few places though. Even in Montana most people live in cities, the biggest ones available and continuously make them bigger. Happening all around the world for most of human history. It probably isn't going to stop anytime soon, though it may have slowed a bit or will soon. Develop carefully or at least more carefully than has been done before. That would be my hope.

I don't consider land with humans on it completely ruined. Not completely or not all of it. It still gets shared to some degree. "Not man apart" from and above nature. But man as a part of nature too.

Last edited by NW Crow; 10-03-2018 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:38 AM
157 posts, read 224,479 times
Reputation: 174
I went to Bozeman for the first time a few weeks ago (the only dealership in the state for the make of car I drive is located there). I was honestly underwhelmed by the views. Nice but I expected more.

OP, my best advice to you is feet on the ground. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see it.

It took me 20~ years before I saw it.
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Old Today, 02:53 PM
27 posts, read 3,668 times
Reputation: 58
Originally Posted by PalmettoStater View Post

So, ideally, I'd want something like:
  1. Close proximity to great skiing
  2. Plenty of open space
  3. Active social scene (good and plentiful dining options, dancing, concerts, etc.)
  4. Decent-sized city (20,000-ish or more)
  5. Friendly, down-to-Earth people
  6. Fresh, clean air
  7. Lower summer and winter humidity than the East coast
  8. Low crime rate
  9. A reasonable amount of sunshine
  10. Access to summer watersports a definite plus

I'm also considering:
  1. Coeur d'Alene, ID
  2. Idaho Falls/Rexburg, ID
  3. Sandpoint, ID
  4. Kalispell/Whitefish, MT
  5. Bend, Oregon
  6. Park City, UT (SLC's insane crime rate and air pollution rule it out)
  7. Steamboat Springs, CO
  8. Durango, CO
  9. Burlington/Stowe, VT
Are there others on that list (or not on that list) that I should definitely also consider?

Thanks in advance!
Hood River should be on your list as well. It's a bit smaller than your criteria but is only an hour from Portland and otherwise ticks all those boxes. Spokane/Coeur d'Alene is another option if you're looking for a bigger job market.
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