Portal:Wyoming

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Wyoming is a state in the western region of the United States of America. The easternmost section of the state is a region known as the High Plains due to its altitude above sea level, while the majority of the state is dominated by the mountain ranges and rangelands of the Rocky Mountain West. Wyoming is the least populous U.S. state. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the state population was 515,004 in 2006, a 4.3% increase since 2000. The capital and the most populous city of Wyoming is Cheyenne.

The region known today as the state of Wyoming was originally inhabited by several Native American groups. The name Wyoming is derived from the Delaware (Munsee) name xwé:wamənk, meaning "at the big river flat", originally applied to the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. Although French trappers may have ventured into the northern sections of the state in the late 1700s, John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was probably the first white American to enter the region in 1807. His reports of the Yellowstone area were considered at the time to be fictional. Robert Stuart and a party of five men returning from Astoria discovered South Pass in 1812. The route was later followed by the Oregon Trail. In 1850, Jim Bridger located what is now known as Bridger Pass, which was later used by both the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868, and in the 20th century by Interstate 80.

Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. It is the tenth largest state in the United States in total area and is made up of 23 counties. From the north border to the south border it is 276 miles (444 km); and from the east to the west border is 375 miles (603 km).

The Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. The state is a great plateau broken by a number of mountain ranges. In the northwest are the Absaroka, Owl Creek, Gros Ventre, Wind River and the Teton ranges. In the north central are the Big Horn Mountains; in the northeast, the Black Hills; and in the southern region the Laramie, Snowy and Sierra Madre ranges.

The climate in Wyoming is generally a semi-arid continental climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) which is drier and windier in comparison to most of the United States with temperature extremes.

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79-AAT-4 "Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park," erupting, against dark sky. Yellowstone 1942, Ansel Adams

Yellowstone National Park became the world's first national park on March 1, 1872. Located mostly in the U.S. state of Wyoming, the park extends into Montana and Idaho. The park is known for its wildlife and geothermal features; Old Faithful Geyser is one of the most popular features in the park. Yellowstone is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining, nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone..

Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. The region was bypassed during the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 1800s. Aside from visits by mountain men during the early to mid-1800s, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. The U.S. Army was commissioned to oversee the park just after its establishment. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance, and researchers have examined more than 1,000 archaeological sites.

Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,472 square miles (8,987 km²), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is the largest high-altitude lake in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano; it has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone.

Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Grizzlies, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park. Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park burned. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobile.

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Barbara Lynn Cubin (born November 30, 1946) is a departing Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, having served since January since 1995 as the sole member of that body from Wyoming. In the 109th Congress, she was a member of the House Resources Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In the wake of the Democratic takeover of Congress in the 2006 elections, Cubin was relegated to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as a Member of both the Health and Telecommunications Subcommittees. She is the first woman elected to Congress from Wyoming.

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Lower Yellowstone Fall-1200px.jpg
Lower Yellowstone Fall
Photo credit: Daniel Mayer

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Attractions: Grand Teton National ParkYellowstone National ParkDevils Tower National MonumentFossil Butte National Monument

Cities: Metro AreasCasperCheyenneCodyEvanstonGilletteGreen RiverJacksonLaramieRawlinsRivertonRock SpringsSheridanWorland

Culture: Music

Education: Higher EducationList of high schools in Wyoming

Geography: Black HillsGreat BasinPowder River Country

Government: EconomyJudicial systemLegislaturePoliticsState Capitol

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People: WyomingitesGovernors of Wyoming

Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsLutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Sports: Casper RockiesWyoming Cavalry Wyoming Cowboys

Statistics: Population

Transportation: Wyoming state highway systemInterstate 25Interstate 80Interstate 90U.S. Highway 14U.S. Highway 16U.S. Highway 20U.S. Highway 30U.S. Highway 26U.S. Highway 89U.S. Highway 191U.S. Highway 287

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