Montana is a state in the Western United States. The state's name is derived from the Spanish word montaña (mountain). Montana has several nicknames, although none official, including "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently "The Last Best Place". Montana is ranked 4th in size, but 44th in population and 48th in population density of the 50 United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In total, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains.
The economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic activities include oil, gas, coal and hard rock mining, lumber, and the fastest-growing sector, tourism. The health care, service, and government sectors also are significant to the state's economy. Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and Yellowstone National Park.
State of Montana
|Nickname(s): Big Sky Country, The Treasure State|
|Motto(s): Oro y Plata|
Many well-known artists, photographers and authors have documented the land, culture and people of Montana in the last 100 years. Painter and sculptor Charles Marion Russell, known as "the cowboy artist" created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes set in the Western United States and in Alberta, Canada. The C. M. Russell Museum Complex located in Great Falls, Montana houses more than 2,000 Russell artworks, personal objects, and artifacts.
Evelyn Cameron, a naturalist and photographer from Terry documented early 20th century life on the Montana prairie, taking startlingly clear pictures of everything around her: cowboys, sheepherders, weddings, river crossings, freight wagons, people working, badlands, eagles, coyotes and wolves.
Many notable Montana authors have documented or been inspired by life in Montana in both fiction and non-fiction works.Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Earle Stegner from Great Falls was often called "The Dean of Western Writers". James Willard Schultz ("Apikuni") from Browning is most noted for his prolific stories about Blackfeet life and his contributions to the naming of prominent features in Glacier National Park
Montana provides year round recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Hiking, fishing, hunting, watercraft recreation, camping, golf, cycling, horseback riding, and skiing are popular activities.
Montana has been a destination for its world-class trout fisheries since the 1930s. Fly fishing for several species of native and introduced trout in rivers and lakes is popular for both residents and tourists throughout the state. Montana is the home of the Federation of Fly Fishers and hosts many of the organizations annual conclaves. The state has robust recreational Lake Trout and Kokanee Salmon fisheries in the west, Walleye can be found in many parts of the state, whileNorthern Pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass fisheries as well as catfish and paddlefish can found in the waters of eastern Montana. Robert Redford's 1992 film of Norman Mclean's A River Runs Through It was filmed in Montana and brought national attention to fly fishing and the state.
Montana is home to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and has a historic big game hunting tradition. There are fall bow and general hunting seasons for elk, moose, pronghorn antelope, whitetail deer and mule deer. A random draw grants a limited number of permits for mountain goats and bighorn sheep. There is a spring hunting season for black bear and in most years, limited hunting of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park is allowed. Current law allows both hunting and trapping of a specific number of wolves and mountain lions. Trapping of assorted fur bearing animals is allowed in certain seasons and many opportunities exist for migratory waterfowl and upland bird hunting