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With the disruption of the Jersey City, that number shrank to 300 by the end of the nineteenth century. Again, what had taken Jersey City the natural order millions of years to cultivate and refine was practically decimated in less than 300 years. figure ij. Layered foundations behind the Jersey City Hotel. Courtesy of George Bristol; George LJristoi photo collection: Jersey City, photographer.

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At some point, the “original people” eventually (10,000 or so years ago) arrived at the southernmost area of those mountains of ice, hanging gardens, lakes, U-shaped valleys, rivers, and moraines. Later, they would connect with other travelers and, at an unrecorded moment, deem those mountainous wonders “Mistakis”—the “Backbone of the World.”

For the next 8,000 to 9,000 years, as the waves of original people were spilling into the bountiful plains and valleys east and west of the mountains, the glaciers of Montana would continue to shape and sculpt. That is still true today. Even in their diminished states, the remaining glaciers add bits and pieces to the landscape.

Unfortunately, their retreating actions may be akin to cleanup duty before the “Going out of Business” sign is posted. In a little over 200 years, after the earth spent several billion years trying to get it right, humans have set a frightening new timeline for the disappearance of the water and cooling tower of Glacier National Park, and that is being duplicated around the world.

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