Tag Archives: Californians ruining Idaho

Yellowstone TV Series Helping People To Get The Wrong Impression

I have watched every episode of the Paramount Network television series “Yellowstone”, about the fictional ranch owner John Dutton and his Yellowstone ranch in Montana. I dislike every character in this show, to a lessor or greater degree. But I suppose that a good, successful television series would intentionally create characters that people don’t like.

In addition to me not liking the characters, I don’t like the many false impressions of reality that are created on this show. In a recent episode, season 4 episode #3 or #4, the female CEO of a very large real estate development company says to rancher John Dutton’s daughter Beth, that the only thing Montana has to offer any longer is “the fantasy of the West”.

I didn’t like hearing this statement, because right now there is a real-life problem, where Californians are flooding into Arizona, Idaho, and Montana to escape all of the failed policies and planning that ruined California, and these Californians either don’t understand or don’t care that they are ruining Idaho and Montana.

As Soon As Possible, Before It’s Too Late, Californians need to be made to understand that they are ruining Idaho and Montana. A statement such as, “The only thing that Montana has left to offer, is the fantasy of the West”, made on a popular TV show, is giving the false impression and misconception that Montana is lacking anything, that it wants or is in need of development and outside assistance.

It would be stupid, ignorant, uninformed, and non-thinking, for someone to say, “The only thing that Montana has left to offer, is the fantasy of the West.” A week or so after this episode of “Yellowstone” was shown, I couldn’t believe that a Montana rancher identified as “SistersCattleCo” made this TikTok video saying that he agreed with this statement made by the real estate developer:

I couldn’t believe that a Montana rancher would say these things. He said in a couple of different ways, that if it were not for oil and irrigation in the West, it would be mostly uninhabitable. He also said that the eastern U.S. was much more rich with resources in comparison to the West.

Here is my explanation of why none of this is true about Montana, or any state. Prior to World War II, most of the people in the United States lived in small towns that were rural and agriculture based. This was the American way of life that the founding fathers of the United States had envisioned. I want to emphasize that up until 75 years ago, the majority of the people in the U.S. lived in small towns, with a much more modest standard of living. For more than 200 years, people lived like this. There was nothing “uninhabitable” about these rural, agricultural conditions, this is how the majority of people lived.

Whether the head of the household owned the house or share-cropped, worked solely at farming or did outside work, most people had their own vegetable gardens, chickens, pigs, milk cows, horses, mules.  These rural people may or may not have had an automobile, tractor, radio, television, telephone, or electricity.  They heated their homes using wood, coal, or oil.  This was how life was for the average person, whether they lived in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Montana, or Nebraska, up until about 75 years ago.  So I think that it is a very stupid thing to say that much of the West would be uninhabitable if it were not for oil and irrigation, people lived their lives without it in the U.S. for more than 200 years.

I believe that the problem is, that “California people” or people who think like “California people”, have the misconception or wrong impression that a state is “uninhabitable”, undesirable, needs development and outside help, if it doesn’t have all of the things that they consider to be necessities because that is what they have been accustomed to their entire lives in California.  If you look back at how the average person lived in the U.S. for more than 200 years, whether it was Florida, Texas, Arizona, Montana, or Nebraska, they survived without a Walmart, Target, Starbucks, McDonalds, convenience store, tanning salon, golf course, or airport five minutes away.

Let me explain this another way.  North Dakota, where I live, is barren and desolate looking, much more so than Montana.  In the early 1900s, immigrants from Ukraine sought the 160-acre Homestead Act land grants in western North Dakota, this land looked good to them.  These immigrant farmers grew so much wheat, that the railroad companies built railroad lines through these North Dakota farming areas to load this grain.  At the railroad depots and grain bins, towns began to sprout, with general stores, hardware stores, feed stores, schools, barber shops, hotels, doctor offices, saloons, morticians, churches, sheriff, etcetera.  Houses were built for these town workers to live in.  This had nothing to do with oil or irrigation, yet these barren grasslands with no trees were not “uninhabitable”.

If you look at how people lived in the U.S. for more than its first 200 years, whether Florida, Texas, Arizona, Montana, or Nebraska territories, the majority of people lived in rural, agriculture-based small towns, that had nothing to do with oil or irrigation, and these areas were not uninhabitable.  Many people currently living in the West wish to continue to have a rural, agriculture-based, small town lifestyle and standard of living.  These people currently living in the West do not need or want development and outside help, this would actually destroy their way-of-life and quality-of-life.


Getting Pushed Out Of Small Town Idaho By Californians

People who have been reading my blog post articles for a year or two will probably remember me writing that North Dakota is not my home, I am not from here. I first came to North Dakota in 2011 to find work during the oil boom.

My purpose in coming to North Dakota was to make enough money to pay off all of my bills, save at least $10K in emergency money, then return to Idaho and try to find a normal job. Most jobs in Idaho do not pay very much money, but at least I would be living in my own home on five acres back in Idaho.

I didn’t make very good financial progress in North Dakota during the eight-nine years that I lived here. In 2012-2013 I tried living and working in Texas, which for me was much worse than living in North Dakota.

The main reasons why I didn’t earn enough or save enough in order to be able to return to my home in Idaho are as follows: Short duration of some employment due to bad employers/conditions/environment; Working for good employers, sometimes a shortage of work; High living expenses, especially housing, and the high cost of food and fuel working 60-100 miles out-of-town; 2014-2019 I bought five additional vehicles.

I never wanted to sell my home back in Idaho. For one reason, it was my “home”. I always felt a sense of precariousness living as a renter, the landlord could always raise the rent, not renew a lease, sell the building, rent to neighbors who were bad people, complain about my vehicles, and so forth. As a renter, you don’t have any guarantee that you can continue living where you are, it is up to other people to decide, and I couldn’t stand being at the mercy of other people concerning something so important as having a place to live.

I explained several times in my past blog post articles that I grew up in what was once a very beautiful small town on the east coast of Florida, which became ruined and overpriced as northerners continuously moved there because of the beach and warm weather. I also wrote about living in Flagstaff, Arizona in the early 2000s, which also became ruined and overpriced as Phoenicians and Californians moved there because of the mountains and National Forest.

I realized that the only place that I could afford to buy a home, was someplace that was not spectacularly beautiful or highly desirable because of its proximity to an ocean, a lake, river, mountain, or National Forest. In 2007 as I left Flagstaff and drove into Idaho where I planned to start over, I was very disappointed with the ordinary flat grassland of Idaho, but this was someplace that I could afford to buy property.

After living in Idaho for several months, I learned that the relatively low cost of housing compared to places like Florida and Arizona, was due to and coupled with a very, very low wage rate in Idaho. Houses did not cost very much in Idaho, because people were not paid very much.

Back in 2007-2010 in rural Idaho, $12/hr ($25K/yr) was considered to be a “good job”. Therefore, it seemed like, the average small older house price in rural Idaho of about $80K-$120K was just out of reach of the average worker, but not by much. A husband and wife who had saved for five-ten years and were both steadily employed could afford one of these smaller older houses.

At that time a small number of Californians were cashing out of their homes and moving to this ordinary area of Idaho, but the 2008-2010 housing bubble burst brought an end to this, which is one of the reasons why I had to leave Idaho to look for work in North Dakota in 2011.

In the following years while I was working in North Dakota, I had to return to my home in Idaho to “winterize” my house in the Fall, and mow the grass in the Spring and Summer. 2011-2019, I didn’t notice very much change in the town where my house was located, and I felt that I wasn’t missing anything. I did want to return to live there, because life was slower, there was less crime, the people were friendlier, and the women were nicer.

Due to the Coronavirus, travel restrictions, and quarantine requirements for travelers, I had not been back to my home in Idaho since the Summer of 2019. Last week I had to return to Idaho for business reasons, and to check on my house. When I entered the rural county where my home is located, I was shocked, I could not believe the number of new housing developments, and the number of new houses being built in these housing subdivisions.

Where there had been farm fields planted with crops the last time that I was at my house in Idaho, there are now housing developments. Across the street from my house there is an 80-acre parcel of land that was being harvested the last time that I was home, but now it is a housing development with $300K-$400K houses on 1/2 acre lots.

I was not prepared to see this. For the past year I had been reading newspaper and magazine articles about people from California flooding into Boise and Bozeman, but I thought that it was just certain areas because of what they had to offer. Boise is a city, and the capital of Idaho, whereas Bozeman is surrounded by mountains and forests.

I had seen on the real estate sites Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com where it showed that according to them, my house price had more than doubled since I bought it in 2010, but I thought that this was because of demand from local people, people already living in this area who were seeking housing. I had received a couple of unsolicited inquiries from individuals and real estate investors asking me if I wanted to sell my property, but I had thought that this was just normal. I didn’t know that there was an explosion of new housing being built for California buyers, and I didn’t like it.

Besides the 80-acre parcel of land across the street from my house that had been used for farming, most of my other neighbors have about five acres each. On my neighbors’ properties, they have a few horses, a few cattle, farm tractors, horse trailers, old pickup trucks, tractor trucks with commercial trailers, dump trucks, loaders, backhoes, forklifts, cranes, travel trailers, truck-bed campers, storage sheds, barns, corrals, horse stalls, and water pump houses.

Up until now, there were none or very lax restrictions on what types of things a property owner in the county could have on their property. But I know this is very likely, almost certainly going to change, now that the Californians have moved into $400K houses across the street. The Californians like to make laws, regulate, and prohibit everything, just like they did back in California where they came from. Plus, they don’t want to look at all the “junk” we have.

To explain this a little better, my neighbor Craig is a commercial truck driver, Fritz is a heavy equipment operator for the county, Andy is a heavy equipment operator/contractor, Larry is a steel building contractor. Each of my neighbors are local people who bought their property more than twenty years ago for less than $100K, back when this county was less populated, and the average pay for local people was about $30K per year. The equipment on their property, is what they have used to earn a living for the past twenty years.

My neighbors don’t understand this yet, but the reason why the county will jump on the bandwagon with these newcomers from California complaining about all the “junk” that they see on our property, is because county government would rather see ten new $400K houses on each of our five-acre parcels of land, that’s $4 million in new property tax valuation, versus our measely $200K property valuation on each of our five-acre parcels.

Whatever the county can do to begin encouraging or forcing us to leave our property and sell out, that’s what they will begin doing. Up until now, there hasn’t been any snooping and nit-picking by the county on what property owners are doing in the county, but I believe that it is going to start. I am not looking forward to getting county notices left in my door, my mail box, or Post Office box about my grass not being mowed, travel trailer being parked in my yard, unregistered vehicle being parked in my yard, etcetera, who knows what they will come up with.

I feel like I struggled for the past ten years to be able to keep my home back in Idaho by working in North Dakota and living in my truck bed camper, renting a room in someone’s house, or living in a downtown high-crime low-rent apartment, only to end up being pushed out of this small Idaho town by Californians, recently rich form their $700K-$1.2 million 3br/2ba home sale.

Here is an Idaho news article from today that describes this https://www.krem.com/article/news/local/out-of-state-homebuyers-drive-demand-north-idaho-real-estate-market/293-e5382709-fe32-4c4a-9f37-03e1401a4c87