We’ve all heard the old saying, “No Pain; No Gain.” What that means is that there is some sort of pain in any endeavor worth pursuing.

There is risk and there is reward and Bozeman is facing both in the coming years.

For example, no one can dispute that Bozeman, as a city, is growing. The risk and reward come in when the discussion turns to how Bozeman should grow?

Grow Up Or Out?

Bozeman has two choices — be New York City with tall buildings in a small footprint or Los Angeles spread out over hundreds of square miles.

Common logic would seem to dictate that we should grow up because we are in a valley surrounded completely by mountains.

I would prefer the tall buildings to every square inch of our pristine valley covered with homes and two-story buildings until every inch of ground is gone.

Water, Water Everywhere But Not A Drop To Drink

While we do get our share of snow water is going to be an issue in Bozeman in the coming years.

Last year I interviewed Lain Leoniak, Water Resource Manager of Bozeman, and Board Member of the Greater Gallatin Watershed Council.

Leoniak spoke about the goals and projects of the watershed council and the challenges we’re facing in the future if we don’t use our water resources responsibly.

We discussed the recent City Commission Drought Plan and why the commission felt the need to pass that now.

Water resources are very important to local farmers and ranchers since we get about 16 inches of precipitation each growing season and additional irrigation is often needed.

And since we’re an upstream source there is nowhere for us to go to get additional water.

Leoniak also spelled out the GGWC’s Lower Gallatin Watershed Restoration Plan that was created in 2104.

(Audio of this interview is at the bottom of this article)

Some Final Thoughts

As you can see I’ve only covered two issues in this blog. There are many more we have to think about and many important decisions to be made.

All politics are local and with an upcoming election they are more important than ever.

Where Bozeman goes in the coming years will affect everyone’s quality of life.

As our population approaches, and passes, 50,000 we will no longer but the quaint little city in the mountains.

And there will be many risks and rewards when that happens. I’m wondering which we will get more of — risks or rewards?

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