Montanans seem to have a lot to say about out of staters and most of the time it isn't positive. Personally, I've witnessed a disheartening level of nastiness from locals towards people that have moved here from a different state.

Here in Bozeman, a lot of change is happening. Home prices are skyrocketing and the cost of living has gone through the roof. Let's face it, Bozeman is a beautiful place, and it's no surprise that people are moving here in droves. As someone who has never been a fan of larger cities, I definitely understand the appeal of living in Bozeman and the surrounding area.

I moved to Bozeman from Boise, Idaho a little over five years ago for work after I was offered a job at a radio station. I was familiar with the area due to the fact that I lived here for a short time after graduating high school. When given the opportunity to move back, I couldn't really say no. Montana definitely has a piece of my heart. When I moved back in 2016, there were parts of Bozeman that I didn't recognize. I was blown away by the amount of growth that occurred in just ten years.

Many of the folks that are moving to Bozeman now are moving here for the same reason. There's a lot of opportunities here as a result of the growth.

There have been stories about people from out of state getting their vehicles vandalized because their license plate says California. I've also seen people get absolutely roasted on Facebook for asking a simple question. Montanans are known for being kindhearted, caring individuals. What happened?

Not everyone is moving here to buy all of the homes and available land in the area. Many people are moving here because they have the opportunity to make a decent living. Bozeman's housing crisis isn't entirely the fault of people moving here. It's also a result of poor city planning and a lack of low-income housing. The City of Bozeman really isn't doing anything to fix the problem. More subdivisions are taking the place of farmland and there's a lot of money being made as a result. Bozeman is quickly becoming a playground for the wealthy, but before you blame out of staters, we need to hold local representatives and city planners accountable. After all, they're the ones allowing this to happen.

Let's be better, Montana. Stop the hate and lead with kindness.

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