In 1864, W.W. Alderson described Montana's Gallatin Valley as "one of the most beautiful and picturesque valleys the eye ever beheld, abounding in springs of clear water." In the late 1800's many agreed, calling it "The Egypt" or "The Garden Spot of Montana."
Bozeman, MT, population, ~36,000 (lat. 45.68N, long., 111.05W, elev. 4772 ft) is in southwestern Montana, USA. It is the home of Gallatin County, with a population of 87,359. The city is named after John Bozeman, founder of the strategic Bozeman Trail.
Montana is bounded by North Dakota and South Dakota (E), Wyoming (S), Idaho (W), and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan (N).
Area: 147,138 sq mi (381,087 sq km).
Population: (2008) 967,000.
Largest city: Billings.
Motto: Oro y Plata [Gold and Silver].
State bird: Western meadowlark.
State flower: bitterroot.
State tree: Ponderosa pine.
In and around Montana's mountainous western region are the large mineral deposits for which the state is known: copper, silver, gold, platinum, zinc, lead, and manganese.
The eastern part of Montana is noted for its petroleum and natural gas, and there are also vast sub-bituminous coal deposits, worked largely at the most extensive U.S. open-pit mines.
Montana also mines vermiculite, chromite, tungsten, molybdenum, and palladium. Leading industries manufacture forest products, processed foods, and refined petroleum.
Wheat is the most valuable farm item, with cattle also of primary importance. Other principal crops include barley, sugar beets, and hay.
Much of Montana, the fourth largest U.S. state, is still sparsely populated country dominated by spectacular nature. High granite peaks, forests, lakes, and such wonders as those of Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks attract many visitors to Montana. Other places of interest include Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Big Hole National Battlefield, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, and the National Bison Range, near Ravalli, where herds of buffalo may be seen.
Helena is the capital, Billings and Great Falls the largest cities; other important cities include Bozeman, Missoula, and Butte. Smaller cities in the Gallatin Valley and paradise valley regions include Big Sky, Belgrade, Manhattan, and Livingston.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003