Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U. S. state located in Oceania, the only U. S. state located outside North America, the only one composed of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean; the state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles. At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are—in order from northwest to southeast: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe and the Island of Hawaiʻi; the last is the largest island in the group. The archipelago is ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers and volcanologists.
Because of its central location in the Pacific and 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii's culture is influenced by North American and East Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U. S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu. Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. It is the only state with an Asian plurality; the state's oceanic coastline is about 750 miles long, the fourth longest in the U. S. after the coastlines of Alaska and California. The state of Hawaii derives its name from the name of Hawaiʻi. A common Hawaiian explanation of the name of Hawaiʻi is that it was named for Hawaiʻiloa, a legendary figure from Hawaiian myth, he is said to have discovered the islands. The Hawaiian language word Hawaiʻi is similar to Proto-Polynesian *Sawaiki, with the reconstructed meaning "homeland". Cognates of Hawaiʻi are found in other Polynesian languages, including Māori and Samoan.
According to linguists Pukui and Elbert, "lsewhere in Polynesia, Hawaiʻi or a cognate is the name of the underworld or of the ancestral home, but in Hawaii, the name has no meaning". A somewhat divisive political issue arose in 1978 when the Constitution of the State of Hawaii added Hawaiian as a second official state language; the title of the state constitution is The Constitution of the State of Hawaii. Article XV, Section 1 of the Constitution uses The State of Hawaii. Diacritics were not used because the document, drafted in 1949, predates the use of the ʻokina and the kahakō in modern Hawaiian orthography; the exact spelling of the state's name in the Hawaiian language is Hawaiʻi. In the Hawaii Admission Act that granted Hawaiian statehood, the federal government recognized Hawaii as the official state name. Official government publications and office titles, the Seal of Hawaii use the traditional spelling with no symbols for glottal stops or vowel length. In contrast, the National and State Parks Services, the University of Hawaiʻi and some private enterprises implement these symbols.
No precedent for changes to U. S. state names exists since the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1789. However, the Constitution of Massachusetts formally changed the Province of Massachusetts Bay to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1780, in 1819, the Territory of Arkansaw was created but was admitted to statehood as the State of Arkansas. There are eight main Hawaiian islands; the island of Niʻihau is managed by brothers Bruce and Keith Robinson. Access to uninhabited Kahoʻolawe island is restricted; the Hawaiian archipelago is located 2,000 mi southwest of the contiguous United States. Hawaii is the southernmost U. S. the second westernmost after Alaska. Hawaii, like Alaska, does not border any other U. S. state. It is the only U. S. state, not geographically located in North America, the only state surrounded by water and, an archipelago, the only state in which coffee is commercially cultivable. In addition to the eight main islands, the state has many smaller islets. Kaʻula is a small island near Niʻihau.
The Northwest Hawaiian Islands is a group of nine small, older islands to the northwest of Kauaʻi that extend from Nihoa to Kure Atoll. Across the archipelago are around 130 small rocks and islets, such as Molokini, which are either volcanic, marine sedimentary or erosional in origin. Hawaii's tallest mountain Mauna Kea is 13,796 ft above mean sea level; the Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanic activity initiated at an undersea magma source called the Hawaii hotspot. The process is continuing to build islands; because of the hotspot's location, all active land volcanoes are located on the southern half of Hawaii Island. The newest volcano, Lōʻihi Seamount, is located south of the coast of Hawaii Island; the last volcanic eruption outside Hawaii Island occurred
Quake Lake is a lake in southwestern Montana in the United States. It was created after an earthquake struck on August 1959, killing 28 people. Today, Quake Lake is 6 miles long. US 287 follows the lake and offers glimpses of the effects of the earthquake and landslide, a visitor center is just off the road; the lake is within Gallatin National Forest. The earthquake measured 7.5 on the Richter magnitude scale and caused an 80-million ton landslide, which formed a landslide dam on the Madison River. The earthquake was the most powerful to hit the state of Montana in historic times; the landslide traveled down the south flank of Sheep Mountain, at an estimated 100 miles per hour, killing 28 people who were camping along the shores of Hebgen Lake and downstream along the Madison River. Upstream the faulting caused by the earthquake forced the waters of Hebgen Lake to shift violently. A seiche, a wave effect created by wind, atmospheric pressure, or seismic activity on water, crested over Hebgen Dam, causing cracks and erosion.
The earthquake created fault scarps up to 20 ft high in the area near Hebgen Lake and the lake bottom itself dropped the same distance. 32,000 acres of the area near Hebgen Lake subsided more than 10 ft. Several geysers in the northwestern sections in Yellowstone National Park erupted and numerous hot springs became temporarily muddied. Within the immediate vicinity of the earthquake and resultant landslide, a few dozen cabins and homes were destroyed. Overall damages to buildings and roads were minor with damage costs placed at 11 million dollars in 1959. Aftershocks up to 6.5 on the Richter magnitude scale continued for several months. At the time, the quake was the second largest to occur in the continental US during the 20th century. Hebgen Dam, built in 1917, is a concrete core and rock fill faced structure that sustained severe damage but continued to hold. Repairs were completed on the dam spillway in a few weeks; the landslide, which occurred downstream from the dam, blocked all the flow of the Madison River which began to fill in the void upstream from the slide.
In less than a month, the waters had created. The lack of a reliable water outlet for this new lake forced one of the largest mobilizations of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers commenced in the western U. S. Before the new landslide was breached by the rising waters, a spillway was constructed to ensure erosion and potential failure of the natural dam would be minimized. In 1967, the U. S. Forest Service’s Earthquake Lake Visitor Center opened its doors for the first season of operation; the center provides interpretive services for more than 50,000 visitors annually. The center provides a panoramic view of the mountain that fell and the lake, formed; this facility hosts interpretive displays on earthquakes, plate tectonics, a working seismograph. It is located in Custer Gallatin National Forest
United States dollar
The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent units, but is divided into 1000 mills for accounting; the circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars. Since the suspension in 1971 of convertibility of paper U. S. currency into any precious metal, the U. S. dollar is, de facto, fiat money. As it is the most used in international transactions, the U. S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or accept U. S. dollar coins. As of June 27, 2018, there are $1.67 trillion in circulation, of which $1.62 trillion is in Federal Reserve notes.
Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution provides that the Congress has the power "To coin money". Laws implementing this power are codified at 31 U. S. C. § 5112. Section 5112 prescribes the forms; these coins are both designated in Section 5112 as "legal tender" in payment of debts. The Sacagawea dollar is one example of the copper alloy dollar; the pure silver dollar is known as the American Silver Eagle. Section 5112 provides for the minting and issuance of other coins, which have values ranging from one cent to 100 dollars; these other coins are more described in Coins of the United States dollar. The Constitution provides that "a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time"; that provision of the Constitution is made specific by Section 331 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The sums of money reported in the "Statements" are being expressed in U. S. dollars. The U. S. dollar may therefore be described as the unit of account of the United States.
The word "dollar" is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article I of the Constitution. There, "dollars" is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales. In 1792 the U. S. Congress passed a Coinage Act. Section 9 of that act authorized the production of various coins, including "DOLLARS OR UNITS—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver". Section 20 of the act provided, "That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units... and that all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation". In other words, this act designated the United States dollar as the unit of currency of the United States. Unlike the Spanish milled dollar, the U.
S. dollar is based upon a decimal system of values. In addition to the dollar the coinage act established monetary units of mill or one-thousandth of a dollar, cent or one-hundredth of a dollar, dime or one-tenth of a dollar, eagle or ten dollars, with prescribed weights and composition of gold, silver, or copper for each, it was proposed in the mid-1800s that one hundred dollars be known as a union, but no union coins were struck and only patterns for the $50 half union exist. However, only cents are in everyday use as divisions of the dollar. XX9 per gallon, e.g. $3.599, more written as $3.599⁄10. When issued in circulating form, denominations equal to or less than a dollar are emitted as U. S. coins while denominations equal to or greater than a dollar are emitted as Federal Reserve notes. Both one-dollar coins and notes are produced today, although the note form is more common. In the past, "paper money" was issued in denominations less than a dollar and gold coins were issued for circulation up to the value of $20.
The term eagle was used in the Coinage Act of 1792 for the denomination of ten dollars, subsequently was used in naming gold coins. Paper currency less than one dollar in denomination, known as "fractional currency", was sometimes pejoratively referred to as "shinplasters". In 1854, James Guthrie Secretary of the Treasury, proposed creating $100, $50 and $25 gold coins, which were referred to as a "Union", "Half Union", "Quarter Union", thus implying a denomination of 1 Union = $100. Today, USD notes are made from cotton fiber paper, unlike most common paper, made of wood fiber. U. S. coins are produced by the United States Mint. U. S. dollar banknotes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and, since 1914, have been issued by t
Belgrade is a town in Gallatin County, United States. The population was 7,389 at the 2010 census, it is the largest city in Montana, not a county seat. Belgrade and surrounding areas are experiencing significant population growth; the 59714 ZIP Code that includes the town and surrounding commercial and residential developments had an estimated population of 19,370 as of 2015. The original townsite of Belgrade was established and filed in the Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder's Office by Thomas B. Quaw, a businessman from the midwest, in July 1881. According to Quaw, the townsite was an unmanned railroad siding 9.7 miles west of Bozeman, was named Belgrade after the capital of Serbia as an expression of appreciation to the Serbian investors who helped finance a portion of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Quaw and William O. Tracy created the Belgrade Grain and Produce Company and marketed Belgrade as the "Princess of the Prairies." Belgrade is part of MT Micropolitan Statistical Area. The post office was established in 1887 with Quaw as postmaster.
Belgrade was incorporated in 1906. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is located adjacent to the city boundaries. Belgrade is located at 45°47′N 111°11′W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.25 square miles, all of it land. As of the census of 2010, there were 7,389 people, 2,965 households, 1,877 families residing in the city; the population density was 2,273.5 inhabitants per square mile. There were 3,174 housing units at an average density of 976.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 0.4% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.8% of the population. There were 2,965 households of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 36.7% were non-families.
26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.07. The median age in the city was 30.8 years. 27.5% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 50.5% male and 49.5% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 5,728 people, 2,132 households, 1,507 families residing in the city; the population density was 3,429.8 people per square mile. There were 2,239 housing units at an average density of 1,340.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 96.49% White, 0.09% African American, 1.06% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.94% of the population. There were 2,132 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.3% were non-families.
19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.12. In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 15.5% from 45 to 64, 6.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 101.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $37,392, the median income for a family was $40,378. Males had a median income of $27,154 versus $20,689 for females; the per capita income for the city was $15,266. About 8.1% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over. Belgrade is governed via the mayor council system; the city council consists of six members. Each ward elects two members; the mayor is elected in a citywide vote.
The Belgrade Special Events Center is a 4,800-seat indoor facility constructed by the Belgrade School District in 1996. The building is home to the Belgrade High School Panthers basketball and wrestling teams as well as numerous other school and community events; as one of the largest high school athletic facilities in the state, the Special Events Center hosts numerous district and state athletic events. These sporting events bring thousands of people to Belgrade from all over the State of Montana who not only attend the games, but shop in area stores, stay in local motels, eat in local restaurants. In March 2010 the facility hosted the State B Girls Basketball Tournament; the Gallatin Speedway is located on the outskirts of Belgrade northeast of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport on Tubb Road. The 3⁄8-mile dirt oval hosts stock car racing events from May to September; the Belgrade Fall Festival is an annual tradition that takes place on Homecoming Weekend the third weekend in September.
The day's activities include a parade, community open-pit beef barbecue, car show and crafts fair at Lewis and Clark Park, the Belgrade High School Panthers varsity football game. Official City of Belgrade website Belgrade Chamber of Commerce
Montana is a landlocked state in the Northwestern United States. Montana has several nicknames, although none are official, including "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more "The Last Best Place". Montana is the 4th largest in area, the 8th least populous, the 3rd least densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. The western half of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In all, 77 named; the eastern half of Montana is characterized by badlands. Montana is bordered by Idaho to the west, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan to the north; the economy is based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic resources include oil, coal, hard rock mining, lumber; the health care and government sectors are significant to the state's economy. The state's fastest-growing sector is tourism.
Nearly 13 million tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Beartooth Highway, Flathead Lake, Big Sky Resort, other attractions. The name Montana comes from the Spanish word Montaña, which in turn comes from the Latin word Montanea, meaning "mountain", or more broadly, "mountainous country". Montaña del Norte was the name given by early Spanish explorers to the entire mountainous region of the west; the name Montana was added to a bill by the United States House Committee on Territories, chaired at the time by Rep. James Ashley of Ohio, for the territory that would become Idaho Territory; the name was changed by Representatives Henry Wilson and Benjamin F. Harding, who complained Montana had "no meaning"; when Ashley presented a bill to establish a temporary government in 1864 for a new territory to be carved out of Idaho, he again chose Montana Territory. This time Rep. Samuel Cox of Ohio, objected to the name. Cox complained the name was a misnomer given most of the territory was not mountainous and that a Native American name would be more appropriate than a Spanish one.
Other names such as Shoshone were suggested, but it was decided the Committee on Territories could name it whatever they wanted, so the original name of Montana was adopted. Montana is one of the nine Mountain States, located in the north of the region known as the Western United States, it borders North South Dakota to the east. Wyoming is to the south, Idaho is to the west and southwest, three Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, are to the north. With an area of 147,040 square miles, Montana is larger than Japan, it is the fourth largest state in the United States after Alaska and California. S. state. The state's topography is defined by the Continental Divide, which splits much of the state into distinct eastern and western regions. Most of Montana's 100 or more named mountain ranges are in the state's western half, most of, geologically and geographically part of the Northern Rocky Mountains; the Absaroka and Beartooth ranges in the state's south-central part are technically part of the Central Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountain Front is a significant feature in the state's north-central portion, isolated island ranges that interrupt the prairie landscape common in the central and eastern parts of the state. About 60 percent of the state is part of the northern Great Plains; the Bitterroot Mountains—one of the longest continuous ranges in the Rocky Mountain chain from Alaska to Mexico—along with smaller ranges, including the Coeur d'Alene Mountains and the Cabinet Mountains, divide the state from Idaho. The southern third of the Bitterroot range blends into the Continental Divide. Other major mountain ranges west of the Divide include the Cabinet Mountains, the Anaconda Range, the Missions, the Garnet Range, Sapphire Mountains, Flint Creek Range; the Divide's northern section, where the mountains give way to prairie, is part of the Rocky Mountain Front. The front is most pronounced in the Lewis Range, located in Glacier National Park. Due to the configuration of mountain ranges in Glacier National Park, the Northern Divide crosses this region and turns east in Montana at Triple Divide Peak.
It causes the Waterton River and Saint Mary rivers to flow north into Alberta, Canada. There they join the Saskatchewan River, which empties into Hudson Bay. East of the divide, several parallel ranges cover the state's southern part, including the Gravelly Range, the Madison Range, Gallatin Range, Absaroka Mountains and the Beartooth Mountains; the Beartooth Plateau is the largest continuous land mass over 10,000 feet high in the continental United States. It contains Granite Peak, 12,799 feet high. North of these ranges are the Big Belt Mountains, Bridger Mountains, Tobacco Roots, several island ranges, including the Crazy Mountains and Little Belt Mountains. Between many mountain ranges are rich river valleys; the Big Hole Valley, Bitterroot Valley, Gallatin Valley, Flathead Valley, Paradise Valley have extensive agricultural resources and multiple opportunities for tourism and recreation. East and north of this transition zone are the expansive and sparsely populated Northern Plains, with tableland prairies, smaller island mountain ranges, badlands.
The isolated island ranges east of the Divide include the Bear Paw Mountains, Bull Mountains, Castle Mountains, Crazy Mountains, Highwood Mountains, Judi
Bozeman is a city in and the seat of Gallatin County, United States. Located in southwest Montana, the 2010 census put Bozeman's population at 37,280 and by 2016 the population rose to 45,250, making it the fourth largest city in Montana, it is the principal city of the Bozeman, MT Micropolitan Statistical Area, consisting of all of Gallatin County with a population of 97,304. It is the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Montana and is the third largest of all of Montana's statistical areas; the city is named after John M. Bozeman who established the Bozeman Trail and was a founder of the town in August 1864; the town became incorporated in April 1883 with a city council form of government and in January 1922 transitioned to its current city manager/city commission form of government. Bozeman was elected an All-America City in 2001 by the National Civic League. Bozeman is home to Montana State University; the local newspaper is the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the city is served by Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
For thousands of years indigenous people of the United States, including the Shoshone, Nez Perce, Flathead, Crow Nation and Sioux traveled through the area, called the "Valley of the Flowers", although the Gallatin Valley, in which Bozeman is located, was within the territory of the Crow people. William Clark visited the area in July 1806 as he traveled east from Three Forks along the Gallatin River; the party camped at the mouth of Kelly Canyon. The journal entries from Clark's party describe the future city's location. In 1863 John Bozeman, along with a partner named John Jacobs, opened the Bozeman Trail, a new northern trail off the Oregon Trail leading to the mining town of Virginia City through the Gallatin Valley and the future location of the city of Bozeman. John Bozeman, with Daniel Rouse and William Beall, platted the town in August 1864, stating "standing right in the gate of the mountains ready to swallow up all tenderfeet that would reach the territory from the east, with their golden fleeces to be taken care of".
Red Cloud's War closed the Bozeman Trail in 1868, but the town's fertile land still attracted permanent settlers. In 1866 Nelson Story, a successful Virginia City, gold miner from Ohio entered the cattle business. Story braved the hostile Bozeman Trail to drive some 1000 head of longhorn cattle into Paradise Valley just east of Bozeman. Eluding the U. S. Army, who tried to turn Story back to protect the drive from hostile Indians, Story's cattle formed one of the earliest significant herds in Montana's cattle industry. Story established a sizable ranch in holdings in the Gallatin Valley, he donated land to the state for the establishment of Montana State University – Bozeman. Fort Ellis 45°39′16″N 110°56′35″W, el. 4,987 feet was established in 1867 by Captain R. S. LaMotte and two companies of the 2nd Cavalry, after the murder of John Bozeman near the mouth of Mission Creek on Yellowstone River 45°42′52″N 110°23′20″W, considerable political disturbance in the area led local settlers and miners to feel a need for added protection.
The fort, named for Gettysburg casualty Colonel Augustus Van Horne Ellis, was decommissioned in 1886 and few remnants are left at the actual site, now occupied by the Fort Ellis Experimental Station of Montana State University. In addition to Fort Ellis, a short-lived fort, Fort Elizabeth Meagher, was established in 1867 by volunteer militiamen; this fort was located eight miles east of town on Rocky Creek.45°38′30″N 110°55′05″W, el. 5,249 feet The first issue of the weekly Avant Courier newspaper, the precursor of today's Bozeman Chronicle, was published in Bozeman on September 13, 1871. Bozeman's main cemetery, Sunset Hills Cemetery, was gifted to the city in 1872 when the English lawyer and philanthropist William Henry Blackmore purchased the land after his wife Mary Blackmore died of pneumonia in Bozeman in July 1872; the first library in Bozeman was formed by the Young Men's Library Association in a room above a drugstore in 1872. It moved to the mayor's office and was taken over by the city in 1890.
The first Grange meeting in Montana Territory was held in Bozeman in 1873. The Northern Pacific Railway reached Bozeman from the east in 1883. By 1900 Bozeman's population reached 3,500. In 1892 the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries established a fish hatchery on Bridger Creek at the entrance to Bridger Canyon; the fourth oldest fish hatchery in the United States, the facility ceased to be a hatchery in 1966 and became the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Bozeman National Fish Hatchery a fish technology and fish health center; the Center receives 5000 visitors a year observing biologists working on diet testing, feed manufacturing technology, fish diseases, brood stock development and improvement of water quality. Montana State University - Bozeman was established in 1893 as the state's land-grant college named the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. By the 1920s, the institution was known as Montana State College, in 1965 it became Montana State University. Bozeman's first high school, the Gallatin Valley High School, was built on West Main Street in 1902.
Known as Willson School, named for notable Bozeman architect Fred Fielding Willson, son of Lester S. Willson, the building still stands today and functions as administrative offices for the Bozeman School District. In the early 20th century, over 17,000 acres of the Gallatin Valley were planted in edible peas harvested for both canning and seed. By the 1920s, canneries in the Bozeman area were major producers of canned peas, at one point Bozeman produced 75% of all seed peas
The Rocky Mountains known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 4,800 kilometers from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west; the Rocky Mountains formed 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began sliding underneath the North American plate. The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a broad belt of mountains running down western North America. Since further tectonic activity and erosion by glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys. At the end of the last ice age, humans began inhabiting the mountain range. After Europeans, such as Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Americans, such as the Lewis and Clark expedition, began exploring the range and furs drove the initial economic exploitation of the mountains, although the range itself never experienced dense population.
Public parks and forest lands protect much of the mountain range, they are popular tourist destinations for hiking, mountaineering, hunting, mountain biking and snowboarding. The name of the mountains is a translation of an Amerindian name, related to Algonquian; the first mention of their present name by a European was in the journal of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1752, where they were called "Montagnes de Roche". The Rocky Mountains are defined as stretching from the Liard River in British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico; the Rockies vary in width from 110 to 480 kilometres. The Rocky Mountains are notable for containing the highest peaks in central North America; the range's highest peak is Mount Elbert located in Colorado at 4,401 metres above sea level. Mount Robson in British Columbia, at 3,954 metres, is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; the eastern edge of the Rockies rises above the Interior Plains of central North America, including the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, the Front Range of Colorado, the Wind River Range and Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, the Absaroka-Beartooth ranges and Rocky Mountain Front of Montana and the Clark Range of Alberta.
The western edge of the Rockies includes ranges such as the Wasatch near Salt Lake City and the Bitterroots along the Idaho-Montana border. The Great Basin and Columbia River Plateau separate these subranges from distinct ranges further to the west. In Canada, the western edge of the Rockies is formed by the huge Rocky Mountain Trench, which runs the length of British Columbia from its beginnings in the middle Flathead River valley in western Montana to the south bank of the Liard River. Geographers define three main groups of the Canadian Rockies: the Continental Ranges, Hart Ranges, Muskwa Ranges; the Rockies do not extend into central British Columbia. Other mountain ranges continue beyond the Liard River, including the Selwyn Mountains in Yukon, the Brooks Range in Alaska, but those are not part of the Rockies, though they are part of the American Cordillera; the Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains and designates the line at which waters flow either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.
Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park is so named because water falling on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific but Hudson Bay as well. Farther north in Alberta, the Athabasca and other rivers feed the basin of the Mackenzie River, which has its outlet on the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. Human population is not dense in the Rocky Mountains, with an average of four people per square kilometer and few cities with over 50,000 people. However, the human population grew in the Rocky Mountain states between 1950 and 1990; the forty-year statewide increases in population range from 35% in Montana to about 150% in Utah and Colorado. The populations of several mountain towns and communities have doubled in the last forty years. Jackson, increased 260%, from 1,244 to 4,472 residents, in forty years; the rocks in the Rocky Mountains were formed. The oldest rock is Precambrian metamorphic rock. There is Precambrian sedimentary argillite, dating back to 1.7 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic, western North America lay underneath a shallow sea, which deposited many kilometers of limestone and dolomite.
In the southern Rocky Mountains, near present-day Colorado, these ancestral rocks were disturbed by mountain building 300 Ma, during the Pennsylvanian. This mountain-building produced the Ancestral Rocky Mountains, they consisted of Precambrian metamorphic rock forced upward through layers of the limestone laid down in the shallow sea. The mountains eroded throughout the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic, leaving extensive deposits of sedimentary rock. Terranes began colliding with the western edge of North America in the Mississippian, causing the Antler orogeny. For 270 million years, the focus of the effects of plate collisions were near the edge of the North American plate boundary, far to the west of the Rocky Mountain region, it was. The current Rocky Mountains arose in the Laramide orogeny from between 55 Ma. For the Canadi