CAPITAL CITY Boise, the largest city in the state, located on the Boise River in southwestern Idaho; population 125,738. Originally an army camp, it was founded as a settlement in 1863 and was incorporated as a city the following year, when it also became the territorial capital.
STATE NAME AND NICKNAMES The name "Idaho" is an artificial Indian word invented by George M. Willing. Also known as the Gem State and the Gem of the Mountains (the putative meaning of "Idaho").
STATE SEAL In the center is a shield showing a landscape, with the Snake River, mountains, a fir tree, and a farmer at the plow. Above the shield is an elk's head and the
state motto on a scroll; below it is a sheaf of wheat; to the right is a miner; to the left a woman holding symbols of justice and liberty. Along the bottom are agricultural symbols, including two cornucopias, the state flower, and ripened wheat. The yellow border reads "Great Seal of the State of Idaho."
The western state of Idaho belongs to the Mountain states. It is bordered on the north by Canada, on the east by Montana and Wyoming, on the south by Nevada and Utah, and on the west by Oregon, Washington, and the Snake River. It ranks 42nd in population and 14th in area among the states.
MOTTO Esto Perpetua (It Is Forever)
SONG "Here We Have Idaho," lyrics by McKinley Helm and Albert J. Tompkins, music by Sallie Hume Douglas.
Flower syringa Tree white pine Bird mountain bluebird Gem star garnet Horse Appaloosa FLAG A blue field with the state seal in the center and below it a red band bearing the legend "State of Idaho."
As a Rocky Mountain state, Idaho is dominated by mountain terrain, with the Continental Divide forming Idaho's eastern border. The state contains some of the largest stretches of unspoiled wilderness in the continental U.S., with a wide diversity of flora and game. Idaho also boasts more than 2,000 lakes and ten major rivers. Heavily irrigated farmland lines the Snake River valley, the state's major drainage; Hell's Canyon, along the western Snake River, is the deepest gorge-about one mile in depth-in North America.
ELEVATIONS Highest point-. Borah Peak, Custer County, 12,662 feet. Lowest point. Snake River, Nez Perce County, 710 feet. Mean elevation: 5,000 feet
MAJOR RIVERS Snake, Salmon, Clearwater
MAJOR LAKES Pend Oreille, Coeur d'Alene, Priest, Bear, American Falls, Cascade, and Dworshak
TEMPERATURES (1990) The highest recorded temperature was 118°F on July 28, 1934, at Orotino. The lowest was -60°F on January 18, 1943, at Island Park Dam.
SOME INFORMATION: The Idaho potato remains the state's most important cash crop, followed by wheat, sugar beets, alfalfa, beans, truck vegetables, and peas. Cattle are the main livestock. Total farm receipts were over $2.7 billion in 1989. Manufacturing in the state is centered around potato and beet-sugar processing, lumber products, and chemicals. Silver, lead, and zinc, sand, gravel, basalt, pumice, garnet, and phosphate are the principle mining products. As in many Western states, tourism is one of the fastest growing industries, as visitors flock to see Idaho's spectacular national and state parks.
Among states, Idaho ranks high in the generation of energy from renewable resources -mainly hydropower and woodburning. The Columbia and Snake River system, which passes through the state, is one of the most endangered in the nation, in part due to Idaho's heavy use of irrigation. In fact, Idahoans use more water per capita than the inhabitants of any other state. Among the species threatened by declining river levels is the sockeye salmon, which is nearly extinct in Idaho.
NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES
Idaho was formerly home to the Kalispel, Nehelem, Northern Paiute, Palouse, and Spokane tribes. Groups that continue to live there include the Bannock, Coeur d'Alene, Kootenay, Nez Perce, Northern Shoshoni, and Western Shoshoni. Native Americans were 1.4 percent of the population in 1990.