The state of Montana is located in the western United States. Montana was recognized as a state in the union on 8th November, 1889. The Capital of Montana is Helena.The state is also referred to as the “Treasure State"
. It also has some other nicknames which includes "Land of Shining Mountains," "Big Sky Country,
" and "Last Best Place."
Montana is also the 48th most densely populated of the 50 states.
Montana Fast Facts
- Population: 1,005,141
- State Nickname: Treasure State
- State Capital: Helena
- State Flower: Bitterroot
- State Bird: Western Meadowlark
- State Animal: Grizzly Bear
- State Fish: Blackspotted Cutthroat Trout
- State Gemstones: Sapphire & Agate
- State Motto: Oro Y Plata (Gold and Silver)
History of Montana
The first inhabitants of the state of Montana were the Native Americans.
The tribes that resided in the region included Crows they settled in south central region of the state, the Cheyenne in the southeastern part, the Blackfeet, Assiniboine and Gros Ventres settled in the central and north central part of the state and the Kootenai and Salish in the western part of Montana. The Pend d'Oreille tribes resided along the Flathead Lake, and the Kalispel occupied the western mountains.
The first group of white explorers to cross Montana came during the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806. During this expedition fur trappers and traders also arrived in Montana. The Trappers brought along with them alcohol, disease and a new economic system to native people of Montana. By the 1840 the fur trade was mostly over due to diminishing supplies of beaver, and the loss of popularity of the beaver hat.
After the trappers the Roman Catholic missionaries came to Montana. They set up Saint Mary's Mission in the Bitterroot Valley. This was believed to be the first permanent settlement in Montana. The missionaries also promoted agriculture in Montana and built a saw mill. In the year 1860 with the discovery of gold, it bought many prospectors into the region.
Indians lost access to their traditional hunting grounds and conflicts grew, as more and more white people came into the region. In 1876, the Sioux and Cheyenne were victorious at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. In the year 1877, Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce won a battle in the Big Hole Basin but at the end the Indians were defeated by the United States army.
During the 1860's, the cattle ranches began flourishing in western valleys as demand for beef in the new mining communities increased. After 1870 taking advantage of the free public-domain land, open-range cattle operations spread across the high plains of the state.
Railroads crossed Montana during the 1880's and in the year 1889 the territory of Montana became a state. During this time Hardrock mining also started. When silver and copper were discovered, Butte became famous. Marcus Daly owned The Anaconda Copper Company, became one of largest copper mining companies of the world and also exercised inordinate influence in the state.
Sheep and cattle ranches continued to take privilege of abundant grasslands of Montana. Large number of homestead farmers came to the state with the passage of the Enlarged Homestead Act in 1909, looking for inexpensive land. Until an extended drought, wheat farming was very popular. The homestead "bust" compelled many farmers to leave Montana.
Post-World War I effect in Montana continued through the 1920s and right into the Great Depression of the 1930s.The "New Deal" of President Franklin D. Roosevelt brought relief to Montana in the form of various projects and agencies. Various projects included the building of Fort Peck Dam; the Works Projects Administration (WPA); the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC); the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA). These "alphabet agencies" pointed the first real dependence of Montana on federal spending in the 20th century.
The World War II across the nation broke the hold of the Great Depression on Montana. Additional federal monies to the state were brought during the war. Many people were also drawn into the service and into wartime industries on the West Coast. The State of Montana was changed forever as a result of the wartime dislocation.
From the year 1945-2000 the state of Montana has been characterized by a slow shift from an economy that depended on the natural resource extraction to service based economy. The traditional industries of Montana like copper, coal, timber and petroleum have suffered unstable employment patterns and wild market fluctuations. During this era Agriculture remained the primary industry of Montana. The Mining industry emerged as the state's second largest industry after 1970. During this time Montana also witnessed shift in the transportation system of the state from railroads to highways, cars and trucks.
The post war politics of Montana has also been marked by some notable politicians of the nation, which included James E. Murray; Lee Metcalf; Mike Mansfield; Pat Williams. The new constitution in the year 1972 gave more responsibility to the individual voter and also made important steps to Montana’s environment.
During the "modern" era the post war society of Montana evolved significantly. During this period the state has experienced many developments like the building of bridges with communities of Indian, the development of a Hutt rite network, the emergence of white-supremacist cells and the acceptance of ethnic immigrants.
During the 1990s, the fluctuations of population cost Montana a U.S. House seat and also kept the total population of Montana under 900,000.The sift in the population have loaded the people of Montana in the state’s western one-third of the state and the vast spaces of eastern Montana remained empty.
According to some national observers Montana was a part of America's "cultural outback," while some others take pride on the strong spirit of community of Montana, their close contact with the environment and also their fundamental sense of place.
On 8th November 1889, Montana became the 41st state 
of the nation. Prior to establishment of Montana Territory in 1864, Montana was governed by seven different territories of the western United States that was to become Montana, for sixty years. The region of Montana situated to the east of the Continental Divide belonged to the Territory of Louisiana (bought from France in 1803), the so-called “Indian Country” (1821-1854), Nebraska Territory (1854-1861), Missouri Territory (1812-1821), and Dakota Territory (1861-1863). Montana’s western part obtained from Great Britain in the year 1846 belonged to Oregon (1848-1853) and Washington (1853-1863) Territories until the whole future state joined the Idaho Territory in 1863.
Montana was made a territory by the congress in May 1864. In the same year in December the delegates to the First Legislative Assembly gathered in a dirt-roofed cabin in Bannack City. The assembly passed seven hundred pages of laws, during the next sixty days and declared Virginia City as the new capital of Montana Territory.
In January 1884, a second constitutional convention took place in Helena and the resulting document was agreed by the people in November of that year. The Congress were not able to take any action action on the subject of admission of Montana to the Union, may because of the high political power involved in ensuring that Montana and also other western territories did not have more Democrats than Republicans during that time.
For twenty five years, Montana remained a territory. The federal government passed the Enabling Act of 1889. A new constitution was ratified and by presidential proclamation of President Benjamin Harrison. Montana was admitted into the Union on 8th November, 1889.
Since then, state and county governments evolved in Montana. The constitution of 1889 was outdated by then and the legislature in 1969, requested a special commission to study and compare the constitution to those of other states. According to the council 20 percent of the document needed revision and 30 percent needed outright repeal. Rather than revision of the document the voters of Montana demanded a constitutional convention. From January to March 1972, one hundred elected delegates created one of the most progressive state constitutions in America.
Montana History Timeline
1803: U. S. obtained maximum of Montana in Louisiana Purchase.
1807: First fur fort on Yellowstone River was built by Manuel Lisa.
1832: Arrival of First steam at Fort Union.
1841: St. Mary's Mission in Bitterroot Valley was established by Father Pierre Jean de Smer.
1846: U. S. got the balance of Montana in Oregon Treaty.
1862: Gold was found at Grasshopper Creek.
1864: Montana was declared an official territory and Butte was founded.
1872: Congress created Yellowstone National Park.
1876: Lt. Col George Custer and 197 men killed at Battle of Little Bighorn.
1877: Indian wars came to and in Montana and copper mining started in Butte.
1880: Utah and Northern Railroad came to Montana.
1889: Montana was declared as the 41st state.
1910:Glacier National Park was created by Congress forest and fires destroyed western Montana.
Montana women were right to vote.
1916: Jeanette Rankin became the first woman in U. S. Congress.
1919: Oil was discovered in Cat Creek field.
1921: Wave of bank failures started.
1935: Works Progress Administration (WPA) started projects and series of earthquakes struck central Montana.
1943: 70 coal miners dead in Smith Mine disaster.
1959: Earthquakes struck upper Madison Valley.
1961: Nation's first ICBM missile command set up at Malmstrom Air Force Base.
1972: New state constitution was adopted.
1980: Volcanic fallout from Mt. St. Helen eruption covered Montana.
1988: U.S. and Canada Free-Trade agreement affected economy of Montana.
1994: 286,000 acres of land was burned by 4,500 wildfires.
2000: Wildfires in Bitterroot Valley destroys 1,000,000 acres and 320 homes.
2001: Electricity industry deregulated.
2007: July was recorded as the hottest month in state.
2011: ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under Yellowstone River near Billings destroyed; dumped 1,000 barrels of oil.
Geography of Montana
The state of Montana covers a total land area of more than 147,000
square miles. Montana is the fourth largest state in the nation. Montana is bordered by North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, Idaho on the west, Canada to the north and Wyoming to the south.
The Continental Divide passes along the crests of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Mexico. The Continental Divide literally bifurcates the waters of the North American continent. The state of Montana is also referred to as a headwaters state since much of the water that flows to the rest of America comes from the mountains of Montana. Within its borders are parts of two major river drainage systems of North America. The Clark Fork, Kootenai, Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Flathead Rivers connect the Columbia River that flows into the Pacific Ocean. At Three Forks, from its headwaters the Missouri River empties into the Mississippi flowing to the Gulf of Mexico.
Land Regions of Montana
Montana consist of two geographic areas the by the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountain Region.Great Plains
Montana’s Great Plains are part of the Interior Plain of North America which stretches from south Canada to Mexico. These plains are created of high, gently rolling land obstructed by hills and wide river valleys which includes the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Groups of mountains come up from these plains Big Snowy, the Bear Paws and Little Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountain
Montana’s Rocky Mountain Region is covered by flat, grassy valleys and mountains covered in spruce, pine,
fir, and other evergreens. Most of the mountains in Montana are covered with snow for about 8 to 10 months of the year. The Montana Rocky Mountains are better known for their beautiful cold and clear lakes.
Montana has more than 50 mountain Ranges which are Absaroka, Beaverhead, Beartooth, Big Belt, Bridger, Bitterroot, Cabinet, Flathead, Crazy, Little Belt, Gallatin, Madison, Swan, Mission and Tobacco Root ranges. The highest point in Montana is Granite Peak, which is 12, 799 feet above sea level located in south-central Montana.
Highest and Lowest Point in Montana
Granite Peak is the highest point in Montana. It is located in the Beartooth Range in the Rockies, 12,799 feet above sea level.
The lowest point of Montana is where the Kootenai River exits the state in northwest Montana at the Montana-Idaho border. It lies 820 feet above sea level.
Climate of Montana
The climate of Montana is neither too hot nor no too cold. Montana experience a great diversity in the climate and that is why the state provides a lot of opportunities to enjoy both warm and cold weather activities. The average daytime temperature in Montana varies from 28 degrees in January to 84.5 degrees in July.
Montana experience rainfall between May and July. The Rainfall is generally light in Montana. The Average rainfall in the western part of Montana is 18 inches a year and 13 inches for the east.
Usually winters in Montana are cold, and have few extended cold spells. These cold spells are obstructed frequently by warm, dry Chinook winds. The annual snowfall here reach up to 300 inches in the Rocky Mountains in the western half of the state and the little as 20 inches in the eastern part of the state.
Important Mountain Peaks in Montana
The State of Montana has number of mountain peaks and all its elevation varies from one another. Some of the major mountain peaks in Montana includes:
It is the highest point in Montana, located in the Beartooth Range in the Rockies at 12,799 feet above sea level.Trapper Peak:
It is the highest point located in the Bitterroot Mountains. Trapper Peak is a portion of the larger Bitterroot Range in western Montana.Mount Jumbo:
It is an iconic mountain in Montana that overlooks the city of Missoula in Montana.McDonald Peak:
This peak is the highest peak in the Mission Mountains in Montana.
Mount Sentinel: It is a small mountain that lies to the east of the University of Montana in Missoula. It was originally called "Mount Woody".
Natural Resource of Montna
The state of Montana is rich in natural resources. The motto of the state is “Gold and Silver”. Montana is also known as the “Treasure State”. Logging and the processing is one of the large industries in Montana. Coal mines are situated in the eastern Great Plains region the state. Gold is an important mineral found in Montana. Other important minerals in Montana include Petroleum and natural gas, talc, vermiculite, clay, phosphate and gravel. Precious stones and minerals found in Montana are copper, sapphires, platinum and garnets.
Forest Service in Montana
The Forestry Division of Montana looks after planning and implementation of forestry and fire management programs across the state. The division has four primary functions which are forestry assistance, business management, fire and aviation management and policy, planning and outreach. There are about 9 National forest in Montana which is mentioned below.Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
It is the largest the national forests in the state of Montana and it is located in the eight Southwest Montana counties. The forests cover an area of 3.35 million acres.Contact Details
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
420 Barrett St.
Dillon, MT 59725-3572
Phone no: (406) 683-3900
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.Bitterroot National Forest
Bitterroot National Forest is located in southwest Montana. Half of the forest is given to the largest expanse of continuous pristine wilderness in the lower 48 states which are Frank Church River of No Return, the Selway Bitterroot, and the Anaconda Pintler. Contact Details
Bitterroot National Forest
1801 North 1st
Hamilton, MT 59840
Phone no: (406) 363-7100
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.Custer National Forest
This forest is located across southeastern Montana. This Forest is best known as the ecologically diverse forests in the Northern Region.Contact Details
Custer National Forest
Forest Supervisor’s Office
5001 Southgate Dr. Suite 2
Billings, MT 59101
Phone no: 406-255-1400
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.Flathead National Forest
This forest is situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, to the west of the continental divide and just to the south of the Canadian border. One can find grizzly bear, lynx, bull trout in the forest. There are also several lakes, streams, and rivers to enjoy in the forest.Contact Details
Flathead National Forest
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone no: (406) 758-5208
Fax: (406) 758-5379
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.Custer Gallatin National Forest
The Forest covers an area of 3.1 million acres. This forest is also known as the most ecologically diverse landscapes in the state.Contact Details
Custer Gallatin National Forest
P.O. Box 130
10 East Babcock Ave.
Bozeman, MT 59771
Phone no: (406) 587-6701
To Know more about Custer Gallatin National Forest Click here.Helena National Forest
Helena National Forest is located in west-central Montana. The forest offers close to one million acres of distinctive landscapes and surrounds Montana’s Capital City.Contact Details
Helena National Forest Supervisor's Office
2880 Skyway Drive
Phone no: 406.449.5201
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.Kootenai National Forest
The Kootenai National Forest is situated in the Northwest corner of Montana and the Northeast corner of Idaho on the Canadian border. Contact Details
Kootenai National Forest
31374 US Highway 2
Libby, MT 59923-3022
Phone no: (406) 293-6211
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.Lewis and Clark National Forest
This forest is located in central Montana, and it covers around thirteen counties, seven mountain ranges, and administers an interpretive center in Great Falls. Contact Details
4201 Giant Springs Road
Great Falls, MT 59405
Phone no: (406) 727-8733
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.Lolo National Forest
Located in west central Montana Lolo National Forest encompasses two million acres. The forest offers recreation opportunities such as camping, water sports, and hiking. Contact Details
Lolo National Forest Supervisor's Office
24 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula MT 59804
Phone no: 406-329-3750
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Demography of Montana
According to the United States Census Bureau as on July 1, 2014, the population
of Montana was 1,023,579, a 3.45% increase since the 2010 United States Census.
Montana Population Facts
- Population, 2014 estimate: 1,023,579
- Population, 2013 estimate: 1,014,864
- Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base: 989,417
- Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014: 3.5%
- Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013:
- Population, 2010: 989,415
- Persons under 5 years, percent, 2013: 6.0
- Persons under 18 years, percent, 2013: 22.1%
- Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2013: 16.2%
- Female persons, percent, 2013: 49.8
Montana Racial Population
- White alone, percent, 2013 (a): 89.5
- Black or African American alone, percent, 2013 (a): 0.6%
- American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2013 (a): 6.5
- Asian alone, percent, 2013 (a): 0.8%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2013 (a): 0.1%
- Two or More Races, percent, 2013: 2.5%
- Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013 (b): 3.3%
- White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2013: 87.0%
Economy of Montana
The economy of Montana consists of three Metropolitan areas which are Billings, Great Falls and Missoula. The Agriculture products and the industries of Montana contribute to the state’s economic Development.
Agriculture in Montana
Agriculture is an essential part of the economy of Montana. The agriculture contributes more than 2.4 billion dollars yearly to improve the economy of the state. Montana’s fertile soil and diverse climate helps the farmers and ranchers of Montana to produce a wide variety of high quality food products.Crops of Montana
An approximate of 17.5 million acres of land of Montana is used for agriculture. A wide variety of crops are raised on this land. The primary crop of Montana is Wheat. Other major crops that are grown in Montana are Barley and Oats, Berries, Cherries, Christmas Trees, Corn, Hay, Mint, Sugar Beets and Sunflowers.
Some other crops grown in Montana include canola, apples, potatoes, field peas, dry beans, flax, grapes, lentils, garlic, safflowers, squash, mustard, alfalfa, and lots more.
Livestock of Montana
Cattle are the primary type of livestock in Montana. The state has about 2.6 million beef cattle in and about
18,000 dairy cows. The second most numerous types of livestock in Montana are Sheep. Montana ranks sixth for the Production of Sheep in the nation. Some other livestock in Montana include llamas, swine, and horses. Montana also has about 15 billion bees which produces nine million pounds of honey a year. Montana is also the fifth largest honey producing state in America.
Industries in Montana
The climate and location of Montana offers rapid access to the nation’s rapidly growing markets. Apart from Agriculture Industry, another major industry in Montana is Tourism Industry. It is second largest industry in Montana, after agriculture. The mining industry of Montana plays a pivotal role in the economy of the state. Also the food processing industry of Montana is a major part of Montana’s agricultural sector.
Business quick facts
- Private nonfarm establishments, 2012: 36,241
- Private nonfarm employment, 2012: 343,842
- Private nonfarm employment, percent change, 2011-2012: 2.3%
- Non employer establishments, 2012: 84,767
- Total number of firms, 2007: 114,398
- Black-owned firms, percent, 2007: 0.2%
- American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent, 2007: 2.0%
- Asian-owned firms, percent, 2007: 0.6%
- Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007: 1.0%
- Women-owned firms, percent, 2007: 24.6%
- Manufacturers’ shipments, 2007 ($1000): 10,638,145
- Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000): 8,202,782
- Retail sales, 2007 ($1000): 14,686,854
- Retail sales per capita, 2007: $15,343
- Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000): 2,079,426
- Building permits, 2013: 4,854: 990,822
Government of Montana
of Montana established the governmental structure of the state of Montana. The government of Montana consists of three branches, the Executive branches, Judicial Branch, and the Legislative Branch.
The Executive Branch of Montana
The Governor is the head of the Executive Branch of the Government of Montana.The present Governor of the state of Montana is Steve Bullock. The Lieutenant Governor is the second highest elected official in the state of Montana. The present Lieutenant Governor of Montana is Angela McLean.The Legislative Branch of Montana
Montana Legislature or the General assembly consists of the House of Representative and the Senate. The House of Representatives of Montana is one of 2 chambers of Legislature of Montana. The primary duty of the house is to organize and establish rules for governing their respective chambers.The Senate consists of 50 members that are elected for 4-year terms. The Judicial Branch of Montana
The New Mexico Judiciary branch applies regulations and law and also ensures justice in the state. The Judicial power of the state of New Mexico is in the Supreme Court, District Courts, Montana Water Court, Courts of Limited Jurisdiction and Workers Compensation Court set up by the General Assembly
Education in Montana
The Education Department of Montana is responsible in preparing highly qualified professional educators and administrators through field placements in quality public and private schools and exemplary campus and distance based programs.Contact Details
Department of Education
222 Reid Hall
P.O. Box 172880
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880
Phone no:(406) 994-3120
Fax: (406) 994-3261
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The Montana Constitution of 1972 formed the Board of Public Education to exercise general supervision over the elementary and secondary schools of Montana.Contact Details
Board of Public Education
46 N Last Chance Gulch
PO Box 200601
Helena, MT 59620
Phone no: (406) 444-6576
Fax: (406) 444-0847
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The Montana University System consists of 16 public universities and colleges, which enrolls more than 47,000 students each semester. Some of the Top Universities of Montana are Montana State University - Bozeman, Montana State University - Billings, Great Falls College Montana State University, University of Montana - Missoula and Helena College University of Montana.Contact Details
Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
Montana University System
2500 E. Broadway Street
PO Box 203201
Helena, MT 59620-3201
Phone no: (406) 444-6570
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Tradition and Culture of Montana
In the last 100 years, many well-known photographers, authors and artists have documented the land, culture and people of Montana. Music, Art, and entertainment are also major part of the state of Montana. Some of the notable events of Montana include:
Whitefish Winter Carnival
This festival is celebrated in the honor of Ullr, the snow God and his court. People belief that the snow God to keep the women of Whitefish safe.Wild West Winterfest
It is one of the popular festivals of Montana since 10 years. It is a two day fest that attracts 10,000 visitors each year.Lewis and Clark Festival
In this festival the history of 200 year adventure is unfolded. This festival is held for a week.Montana Folk Festival
This festival commemorates the unique music, culture and cuisine of the state. The Montana Folk Festival is held in Butte every year.
Transportation of Montana
The Transportation Department of Montana is one of the executive agencies of the Government of Montana. The transportation system in Montana comprises of road transport, rail transport and air transport.
The state of Montana comprise of an extensive network of major roadways. The road network of the state of Montana consists of Interstate highways, U.S. highways, Primary state highways and Secondary state highways. The major interstate highways in Montana are I-15, I-115, I-315, I-90 and I-94.
The Aviation division of Montana is responsible for promoting safety of aviation throughout the state of Montana. The state has approximately 120 public use airports situated across the state in almost every county. Some of the major airports in Montana are Billings Logan International Airport, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Bert Mooney Airport, Great Falls International Airport, Helena Regional Airport and Missoula International Airport.
There are several railroads in the state of Montana. The railroads in Montana are:Union Pacific Railroad (UP), BNSF Railway (BNSF), Central Montana Rail (CMR), Montana Rail Link (MRL), Mission Mountain Railroad (MMR), Yellowstone Valley Railroad (YVR), Dakota, Missouri Valley, and Western Railroad (DMVW) and Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railway (BAP).
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Montana Interesting facts
- Montana attained statehood on 8th November, 1889.
- After a very suspicious and controversial election, the city of Helena became the capital of Montana
- Montana is the fourth largest state in the nation.
- Montana consists of 56 counties.
- Montana is the 48th most densely populated in America.
- The world's shortest river, the Roe River in Great Falls is located in Montana.
- The state also holds the world record for the greatest temperature change in 24 hours.
- Granite Peak is the highest point in Montana.
- Agate and sapphire are the two state gemstones of Montana.
- Montana is known as the "Treasure State."
- Montana Fast Facts
- History of Montana
- Montana Statehood
- Geography of Montana
- Population of Montana
- Government of Montana