Portal:Montana

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Montana

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Montana /mɒnˈtænə/ is a state in the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains regions of the United States of America. The central and western thirds of the state have numerous mountain ranges (approximately 77 named) of the northern Rocky Mountains; thus the state's name, derived from the Spanish word montaña ("mountain"). The state nickname is the "Treasure State." Other nicknames include "Land of Shining Mountains," "Big Sky Country," and the slogan "the last best place." However nearly 60% of Montana is mostly flat and rolling prairies, part of the North American Great Plains. The state ranks fourth in area, but only 44th in population, and therefore has the third lowest population density in the United States. The economy is primarily based on agriculture and significant lumber and mineral extraction. Tourism is also important to the economy, with millions of visitors a year to Glacier National Park, the Battle of Little Bighorn site, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

With a land area of 145,552 mi² (376,978 km²) the state of Montana is the fourth largest in the United States (after Alaska, Texas, and California). To the north, Montana and Canada share a 545-mile (877 km) border. The state borders the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, more provinces than any other state. To the east, the state borders North Dakota and part of South Dakota. To the south is Wyoming and to the west and southwest is Idaho.

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The crater as it looked on 8 May 2007.

The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was a major catastrophic volcanic eruption. The eruption was the most significant to occur in the contiguous 48 U.S. states in recorded history (VEI = 5, 0.3 cu mi, 1.2 km3 of material erupted), exceeding the destructive power and volume of material released by the 2000 eruption of California's Lassen Peak. The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes, caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the mountain that created a huge bulge and a fracture system on Mount St. Helens' north slope. An earthquake at 8:32 a.m. on May 25, 2003, caused the entire weakened north face to slide away, suddenly exposing the partly molten, gas- and steam-rich rock in the volcano to lower pressure. The rock responded by exploding into a very hot mix of pulverized lava and older rock that sped toward Spirit Lake so fast that it quickly passed the avalanching north face.

A volcanic ash column rose high into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 U.S. states. At the same time, snow, ice, and several entire glaciers on the mountain melted, forming a series of large lahars (volcanic mudslides) that reached as far as the Columbia River. Less severe outbursts continued into the next day only to be followed by other large but not as destructive eruptions later in 1980. By the time the ash settled, 57 people (including innkeeper Harry Randall Truman and geologist David A. Johnston) and thousands of animals were dead, hundreds of square miles reduced to wasteland, over a billion U.S. dollars in damage had occurred ($2.74 billion in 2007 dollars), and the face of Mount St. Helens was scarred with a huge crater on its north side. At the time of the eruption, the summit of Mount St. Helens was owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad, but afterward the land passed to the United States Forestry Service. The area was later preserved, as it was, in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

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Michael Peter Malone (April 18, 1940 — December 21, 1999) was an American historian who served from 1991 to 1999 as the 10th president of Montana State University. One of Montana's preeminent historians and writers, he was named by both The Missoulian and the Great Falls Tribune newspapers as one of the 100 most influential Montanans of the 20th century. His Montana: A History of Two Centuries (co-written with Richard B. Roeder) was called the "definitive history of the state" by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. His final work, The American West (co-written with Richard W. Etulain), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

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Grant Marsh
  • ... that Montana riverboat pilot Grant Marsh has been described as "Possibly the greatest steamboat man ever"?

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