Bitterroot National Forest
Bitterroot National Forest comprises 1.587 million acres in west-central Montana and eastern Idaho, of the United States. It is located in Ravalli County, but has acreage in Idaho County and Missoula County, Montana. Founded in 1898, the forest is located in the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains with elevations ranging from 2,200 feet along the Salmon River in Idaho to 10,157 foot Trapper Peak. Half the forest make up part or all of three distinct Wilderness areas; these areas include the Anaconda-Pintler, Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church River of No Return Wildernesses. The distinction is that in wilderness areas, no roads, mining or other construction is permitted and all access must be done either on foot or horseback. Hunting, however is allowed forest-wide including wilderness areas; the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through parts of what are now forest lands in 1805. After the discovery of gold in Idaho and Montana in the 1860s, numerous mining towns were built, some of which today are ghost towns.
The Nez Perce National Historic Trail passes through a portion of the forest, following the route of the retreating Nez Perce on their historic path that led from Idaho to north central Montana in 1877. Heavy logging and other resource depletion beginning in the 1880s led conservationists to push for the preservation of the forest; the Bitter Root Forest Reserve was established by the General Land Office on March 1, 1898 with 4,147,200 acres. It was transferred to the U. S. Forest Service in 1906. On July 1, 1908 the name was changed to Bitterroot National Forest, with lands added from Big Hole National Forest and Hell Gate National Forest. Other lands were transferred from Bitterroot to Beaverhead, Nez Perce and Salmon National Forests. On October 29, 1934 part of Selway National Forest was added. In August 2016, a wildfire burnt down fourteen houses; the forest is home to many species of wildlife species including mule deer, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, gopher, a variety of chipmunks, porcupine, rabbits, a variety of squirrels, black bear, cougar in addition to many varieties of birds.
The forest is a combination of both forested zones. Grazing rights are leased to private landowners in the lower altitudes where grasses and shrublands are dominant. Higher up, Douglas fir and lodgepole pine give way to Engelmann Spruce and whitebark pine as the altitude increases. Above the treeline at 8,000 feet the trees abruptly grasses are found. A small grizzly bear population is located in the wilderness zones of the forest with black bear, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and moose found all over this forest. An active effort to reintroduce the grizzly bear to the region concluded in 2000 with a plan to release 25 bears into the wilderness zones over a five-year period beginning in 2003. There are 1,600 mi of 18 improved campgrounds within the forest. Outstanding fishing is found in the dozens of streams and lakes; the forest headquarters is located in Montana. There are local ranger district offices in Darby and Sula; the largest nearby city is Montana. The scenic Blodgett Canyon is but one of many steep canyons located in the forest.
U. S. Highway 93 passes through portions of the forest. There are three designated wilderness areas in Bitterroot National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. All of them, lie in neighboring National Forests, as indicated. Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Much of the forest outside of designated wilderness areas is still roadless and undeveloped. In addition to roadless acreage adjacent to designated wildernesses, a large roadless area 164,000 acres in size and straddling the Montana-Idaho state line exists just west of Lost Trail Pass; this area, named for 9,154' Allan Mountain, lies in Montana and is critical to the migration of wildlife between the wildlands of central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Allan Mountain area is a lower-elevation part of the Bitterroot Range that features extensive coniferous forests, steep canyons, pockets of old-growth ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir.
Within the area is Overwhich Falls, a popular attraction. Elk, black bear, mountain goat, pine marten, pileated woodpecker are residents. Swanson, Frederick H; the Bitterroot and Mr. Brandborg: Clearcutting and the Struggle for Sustainable Forestry in the Northern Rockies. ISBN 978-1-60781-101-5 2000–2001 fires in the Western United States 2016 Nevada wildfire Bitterroot Mountains List of Forests in Montana Bitterroot National Forest - U. S. Forest Service USGS Gird Point Topo Map - TopoQuest.com Bitterroot National Forest Recreation
The raccoon, sometimes spelled racoon known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon, northern raccoon, or coon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The raccoon is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm and a body weight of 5 to 26 kg, its grayish coat consists of dense underfur which insulates it against cold weather. Three of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its dexterous front paws, its facial mask, its ringed tail, which are themes in the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for at least three years, they are nocturnal and omnivorous, eating about 40% invertebrates, 33% plants, 27% vertebrates. The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, urban areas, where some homeowners consider them to be pests.
As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now distributed across much of mainland Europe and Japan. Though thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behavior. Related females share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares for females in cities to 5,000 hectares for males in prairies. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as "kits", are born in spring; the kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall. Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death; the word "raccoon" was adopted into English from the native Powhatan term, as used in the Colony of Virginia.
It was recorded on John Smith's list of Powhatan words as aroughcun, on that of William Strachey as arathkone. It has been identified as a reflex of a Proto-Algonquian root *ahrah-koon-em, meaning " one who rubs and scratches with its hands". Spanish colonists adopted the Spanish word mapache from the Nahuatl mapachtli of the Aztecs, meaning " one who takes everything in its hands". In many languages, the raccoon is named for its characteristic dousing behavior in conjunction with that language's term for bear, for example Waschbär in German, Huan Xiong in Chinese, orsetto lavatore in Italian, araiguma in Japanese. Alternatively, only the washing behavior might be referred to, as in Russian poloskun; the colloquial abbreviation coon is used in words like coonskin for fur clothing and in phrases like old coon as a self-designation of trappers. In the 1830s, the United States Whig Party used the raccoon as an emblem, causing them to be pejoratively known as "coons" by their political opponents, who saw them as too sympathetic to African-Americans.
Soon after that the term became an ethnic slur in use between 1880 and 1920, the term is still considered offensive. In the first decades after its discovery by the members of the expedition of Christopher Columbus, the first person to leave a written record about the species, taxonomists thought the raccoon was related to many different species, including dogs, cats and bears. Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, placed the raccoon in the genus Ursus, first as Ursus cauda elongata in the second edition of his Systema Naturae as Ursus Lotor in the tenth edition. In 1780, Gottlieb Conrad Christian Storr placed the raccoon in its own genus Procyon, which can be translated as either "before the dog" or "doglike", it is possible that Storr had its nocturnal lifestyle in mind and chose the star Procyon as eponym for the species. Based on fossil evidence from Russia and Bulgaria, the first known members of the family Procyonidae lived in Europe in the late Oligocene about 25 million years ago.
Similar tooth and skull structures suggest procyonids and weasels share a common ancestor, but molecular analysis indicates a closer relationship between raccoons and bears. After the then-existing species crossed the Bering Strait at least six million years in the early Miocene, the center of its distribution was in Central America. Coatis and raccoons have been considered to share common descent from a species in the genus Paranasua present between 5.2 and 6.0 million years ago. This assumption, based on morphological comparisons of fossils, conflicts with a 2006 genetic analysis which indicates raccoons are more related to ringtails. Unlike other procyonids, such as the crab-eating raccoon, the ancestors of the common raccoon left tropical and subtropical areas and migrated farther north about 2.5 million years ago, in a migration, confirmed by the discovery of fossils in the Great Plains dating back to the middle of the Pliocene. Its most recent ancestor was Procyon rexroadensis, a large Blancan raccoon from the Rexroad Formation characterized by its narrow back teeth and large lower jaw.
As of 2005, Mammal Species of the World recognizes 22 subspecies of raccoons. Four of these subspecies living only on small Central American and Caribbean islan
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
Grangeville is the largest city in and the county seat of Idaho County, United States, in the north central part of the state. Its population was 3,141 at the 2010 census, down from 3,228 in 2000. Grangeville enjoys close access to scenic and wildlife areas. Whitewater rafting is a popular pursuit and the Clearwater River, Snake River, Salmon River lie close by. Salmon and steelhead fishing is a choice of recreation. Many residents of Grangeville hunt deer and turkeys in the nearby forests. Hiking is popular in the Nez Perce National Forest, the Gospel Hump Wilderness, Hells Canyon to the south of the city; the city operates the nearby Snowhaven ski area for winter recreation. Many residents of Grangeville depend on the nearby forests for their livelihoods. In addition to timber harvesting, the U. S. Forest Service is a major source of employment in the region. Grangeville's "Border Days" is a large public celebration on the weekend of July 4, which features the state's oldest rodeo as well as parades, art shows, the world's largest egg toss.
Grangeville's public schools are operated by the Mountain View School District #244, headed by Grangeville High School at the south end of the city. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.45 square miles, all of it land. As of the census of 2010, there were 3,141 people, 1,389 households, 841 families residing in the city; the population density was 2,166.2 inhabitants per square mile. There were 1,527 housing units at an average density of 1,053.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 0.2% African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.6% of the population. There were 1,389 households of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 39.5% were non-families.
35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.83. The median age in the city was 44 years. 23.1% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 3,228 people, 1,333 households, 857 families residing in the city; the population density was 2,366.4 people per square mile. There were 1,474 housing units at an average density of 1,080.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 96.34% White, 0.03% African American, 1.15% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.64% of the population. There were 1,333 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.7% were non-families.
32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96. In the city, the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, 20.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $27,984, the median income for a family was $34,625. Males had a median income of $27,369 versus $16,179 for females; the per capita income for the city was $14,774. About 10.6% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under the age of 18 and 10.4% of those 65 and older. - US 95 - to Lewiston and Moscow and Riggins and Boise - SH-13 - to Kooskia and Missoula, Montana Idaho County Airport is a county-owned, public-use airport located north of the central business district of Grangeville.
For over nine decades, the Camas Prairie Railroad served the city. Grangeville was the eastern terminus of its second subdivision, known as the "Railroad on Stilts" due to its abundant timber trestles. Citing lack of profitability, its new owners received permission from the federal government to abandon the line in 2000; the final freight run to Grangeville was on November 29, the 17 miles of track from Grangeville to Cottonwood were removed in 2003 for salvage. The line now terminates in Cottonwood. Passenger service to Grangeville was discontinued decades earlier, in August 1955. Matt Hill, NFL player Larry Ramos, Grammy award-winning singer, best known as part of the pop band The Association Ken Schrom, MLB pitcher, was born and raised in Grangeville According to the Köppen climate classification system, Grangeville has a humid continental climate. Official website Mountain View School District #244 Grangeville Chamber of Commerce
National Wilderness Preservation System
The National Wilderness Preservation System of the United States protects federally managed wilderness areas designated for preservation in their natural condition. Activity on formally designated wilderness areas is coordinated by the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness areas are managed by four federal land management agencies: the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management; the term "wilderness" is defined as "an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain" and "an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions." As of 2016, there are 765 designated wilderness areas, totaling 109,129,657 acres, or about 4.5% of the area of the United States. During the 1950s and 1960s, as the American transportation system was on the rise, concern for clean air and water quality began to grow.
A conservation movement began to take place with the intent of establishing designated wilderness areas. Howard Zahniser created the first draft of the Wilderness Act in 1956, it took nine years and 65 rewrites before the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964. The Wilderness Act of 1964, which established the NWPS, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964; the Wilderness Act mandated that the National Park Service, U. S. Forest Service, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service review all federal lands under their jurisdiction for wilderness areas to include in the NWPS; the first national forest wilderness areas were established by the Wilderness Act itself. The Great Swamp in New Jersey became the first National Wildlife Refuge with formally designated wilderness in 1968. Wilderness areas in national parks followed, beginning with the designation of wilderness in part of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho in 1970. A dramatic spike in acreage added to the wilderness system in 1980 was due in large part to the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on December 2, 1980.
A smaller spike in 1984 came with the passage of many bills establishing national forest wilderness areas identified by the Forest Service's Roadless Area Review and Evaluation process. The Bureau of Land Management was not required to review its lands for inclusion in the NWPS until after October 21, 1976, when the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 was signed into law. Over 200 wilderness areas have been created within Bureau of Land Management administered lands since consisting of 8.71 million acres in September 2015. As of August 2008, a total of 704 separate wilderness areas, encompassing 107,514,938 acres, had become part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. With the passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Act in March 2009, there were 756 wilderness areas; as of September 2015, the system includes 765 wilderness areas totaling 109,129,657 acres. On federal lands in the United States, Congress may designate an area as wilderness under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Forest Service, are responsible for the submission of new areas that fit the criteria to become wilderness to congress. Congress reviews these cases on a state by state basis and determines which areas and how much land in each area will become part of the WPS. There have been multiple occasions in which congress designated more federal land than had been recommended by the nominating agency. Whereas the Wilderness Act stipulated that a wilderness area must be "administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such a manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness", the Eastern Wilderness Act, which added 16 National Forest areas to the NWPS, allowed for the inclusion of areas, modified by human interference; the Wilderness Act provides criteria for lands being considered for wilderness designation. Though there are some exceptions, the following conditions must be present for an area to be included in the NWPS: the land is under federal ownership and management, the area consists of at least five thousand acres of land, human influence is "substantially unnoticeable," there are opportunities for solitude and recreation, the area possesses "ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, scenic, or historical value."
Wilderness areas are subject to specific management restrictions. During these activities, patrons are asked to abide by the "Leave No Trace" policy; this policy sets guidelines for using the wilderness responsibly, leaving the area as it was before usage. These guidelines include: Packing all trash out of the wilderness, using a stove as opposed to a fire, camping at least 200 feet from trails or water sources, staying on marked trails, keeping group size small; when observed, the "Leave No Trace" ethos ensures that wilderness areas remain untainted by human interaction. In general, the law prohibits logging, mechanized vehicles, road-building, other forms of development in wilderness areas, though pre-existing mining claims and grazing ranges are permitted through grandf
Idaho is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. It borders the state of Montana to the east and northeast, Wyoming to the east and Utah to the south, Washington and Oregon to the west. To the north, it shares a small portion of the Canadian border with the province of British Columbia. With a population of 1.7 million and an area of 83,569 square miles, Idaho is the 14th largest, the 12th least populous and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. The state's capital and largest city is Boise. Idaho prior to European settlement was inhabited by Native American peoples, some of whom still live in the area. In the early 19th century, Idaho was considered part of the Oregon Country, an area disputed between the U. S. and the United Kingdom. It became U. S. territory with the signing of the Oregon Treaty of 1846, but a separate Idaho Territory was not organized until 1863, instead being included for periods in Oregon Territory and Washington Territory. Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, becoming the 43rd state.
Forming part of the Pacific Northwest, Idaho is divided into several distinct geographic and climatic regions. In the state's north, the isolated Idaho Panhandle is linked with Eastern Washington, with which it shares the Pacific Time Zone – the rest of the state uses the Mountain Time Zone; the state's south includes the Snake River Plain, while the south-east incorporates part of the Great Basin. Idaho is quite mountainous, contains several stretches of the Rocky Mountains; the United States Forest Service holds about 38 % of the most of any state. Industries significant for the state economy include manufacturing, mining and tourism. A number of science and technology firms are either headquartered in Idaho or have factories there, the state contains the Idaho National Laboratory, the country's largest Department of Energy facility. Idaho's agricultural sector supplies many products, but the state is best known for its potato crop, which comprises around one-third of the nationwide yield; the official state nickname is the "Gem State".
The name's origin remains a mystery. In the early 1860s, when the United States Congress was considering organizing a new territory in the Rocky Mountains, eccentric lobbyist George M. Willing suggested the name "Idaho", which he claimed was derived from a Shoshone language term meaning "the sun comes from the mountains" or "gem of the mountains". Willing claimed he had invented the name. Congress decided to name the area Colorado Territory when it was created in February 1861. Thinking they would get a jump on the name, locals named a community in Colorado "Idaho Springs". However, the name "Idaho" did not fall into obscurity; the same year Congress created Colorado Territory, a county called Idaho County was created in eastern Washington Territory. The county was named after a steamship named Idaho, launched on the Columbia River in 1860, it is unclear after Willing's claim was revealed. Regardless, part of Washington Territory, including Idaho County, was used to create Idaho Territory in 1863.
Despite this lack of evidence for the origin of the name, many textbooks well into the 20th century repeated as fact Willing's account the name "Idaho" derived from the Shoshone term "ee-da-how". A 1956 Idaho history textbook says:"Idaho" is a Shoshoni Indian exclamation; the word consists of three parts. The first is "Ee", which in English conveys the idea of "coming down"; the second is "dah", the Shoshoni stem or root for both "sun" and "mountain". The third syllable, "how", denotes the exclamation and stands for the same thing in Shoshoni that the exclamation mark does in the English language; the Shoshoni word is "Ee-dah-how", the Indian thought thus conveyed when translated into English means, "Behold! the sun coming down the mountain. An alternative etymology attributes the name to the Plains Apache word "ídaahę́", used in reference to The Comanche. Idaho borders six U. S. states and one Canadian province. The states of Washington and Oregon are to the west and Utah are to the south, Montana and Wyoming are to the east.
Idaho shares a short border with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. The landscape is rugged with some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the United States. For example, at 2.3 million acres, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is the largest contiguous area of protected wilderness in the continental United States. Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state with scenic areas; the state has snow-capped mountain ranges, vast lakes and steep canyons. The waters of the Snake River rush through the deepest gorge in the United States. Shoshone Falls plunges down rugged cliffs from a height greater than Niagara Falls; the major rivers in Idaho are the Snake River, the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille River, the Clearwater River, the Salmon River. Other significant rivers include the Coeur d'Alene River, the Spokane River, the Boise River, the Payette River; the Salmon River empties into the Snake in Hells Canyon and forms the southern boundary of Nez Perce County on its north shore, of which Lewiston is the county seat.
The Port of Lewiston, at the confluence of the Clearwater and the Snake Rivers is the farthest inland seaport on the West Coast at 465 river miles from the Pacific at Astoria, Oregon. Idaho's highest point is 12,662 ft, in the Lost River Range north of Mackay. Idaho's lowest poi
North American beaver
The North American beaver is one of two extant beaver species. It is native to North America and introduced to Patagonia in South America and some European countries. In the United States and Canada, the species is referred to as "beaver", though this causes some confusion because another distantly related rodent, Aplodontia rufa, is called the "mountain beaver". Other vernacular names, including American beaver and Canadian beaver, distinguish this species from the other extant beaver species, Castor fiber, native to Eurasia; the North American beaver is an official animal symbol of Canada and is the official state mammal of Oregon. This beaver is the largest rodent in North America and competes with its Eurasian counterpart, the European beaver, for being the second-largest in the world, both following the South American capybara; the European species is larger on average but the American has a larger known maximum size. Adults weigh from 11 to 32 kg, with 20 kg being typical. In New York, the average weight of adult male beavers was 18.9 kg, while non-native females in Finland averaged 18.1 kg.
However, adults of both sexes averaged 16.8 kg in Ohio. The species seems to conform to Bergmann's rule. In the Northwest Territory, adults weighed a median of 20.5 kg. The American beaver is smaller in average body mass than the Eurasian species; the head-and-body length of adult North American beavers is 74–90 cm, with the tail adding a further 20–35 cm. Old individuals can exceptionally exceed normal sizes, weighing more than 40 kg or as much as 50 kg. Like the capybara, the beaver is semiaquatic; the beaver has many traits suited to this lifestyle. It has a large, paddle-shaped tail and large, webbed hind feet; the unwebbed front paws are smaller, with claws. The eyes are covered by a nictitating membrane; the nostrils and ears are sealed. A thick layer of fat under its skin insulates the beaver from its coldwater environment; the beaver's fur consists of short, fine inner hairs. The fur has a range of colors, but is dark brown. Scent glands near the genitals secrete an oily substance known as castoreum, which the beaver uses to waterproof its fur.
Before their near-extirpation by trapping in North America, beavers were ubiquitous and lived from the arctic tundra to the deserts of northern Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. Physician naturalist Edgar Alexander Mearns' 1907 report of beaver on the Sonora River may be the earliest report on the southernmost range of this North American aquatic mammal. However, beavers have been reported both and contemporaneously in Mexico on the Colorado River, Bavispe River, San Bernardino River in the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. Beavers are active at night, they are excellent may remain submerged up to 15 minutes. More vulnerable on land, they tend to remain in the water, they use their flat, scaly tail both to signal danger by slapping the surface of the water and as a location for fat storage. They construct their homes, or "lodges", out of sticks, twigs and mud in lakes and tidal river deltas; these lodges may be surrounded by water. Beavers are well known for building dams across streams and constructing their lodges in the artificial ponds which form.
When building in a pond, the beavers first make a pile of sticks and eat out one or more underwater entrances and two platforms above the water surface inside the pile. The first is used for drying off. Towards winter, the lodge is plastered with mud which, when it freezes, has the consistency of concrete. A small air hole is left in the top of the lodge; the purpose of the dam is to create deepwater refugia enabling the beaver to escape from predators. When deep water is present in lakes, rivers, or larger streams, the beaver may dwell in a bank burrow and bank lodge with an underwater entrance; the beaver dam is constructed using branches from trees the beavers cut down, as well as rocks and mud. The inner bark, twigs and leaves of such trees are an important part of the beaver's diet; the trees are cut down using their strong incisor teeth. Their front paws are used for digging and carrying and placing materials; the sound of running water dictates where a beaver builds its dam. Besides providing a safe home for the beaver, beaver ponds provide habitat for waterfowl and other aquatic animals.
Their dams can help reduce flooding. However, beaver dams are not permanent and depend on the beavers' continued presence for their maintenance. Beavers concentrate on building and repairing dams in the fall in preparation for the coming winter. In northern areas, they do not repair breaches in the dam made by otters, sometimes breach the dam themselves and lower the water level in the pond to create more breathing space under the ice or get easier access to trees below the dam. In a 1988 study in Alberta, Canada, no beavers repaired "sites of water loss" during the winter. Of 178 sites of water loss, beavers repaired 78 when water was opened, did not repair 68; the rest were repaired. Beavers are best known for their dam-building, they maintain their pond-habitat by reacting to the sound of running water, damming it up with tree branches and mud. Early ecologists believed that this dam-building was an amazi