Wyoming, one of the Rocky Mt. states of the W United States. It is bordered by South Dakota and Nebraska (E), Colorado and Utah (S), Idaho (W), and Montana (N).
Area, 97,914 sq mi (253,597 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 493,782, an 8.9% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital and largest city, Cheyenne.
Motto, Equal Rights.
State bird, meadowlark.
State flower, Indian paintbrush.
State tree, cottonwood.
Dry farming, producing hay, wheat, and barley, is supplemented by the more diversified yield (especially sugar beets and dry beans) of irrigated fields. Most of the inhabitants of the state derive their livelihood directly or indirectly from farming or ranching. The most valuable farm commodities, in terms of cash receipts, are cattle, hay, sugar beets, and wheat.
Mining is the largest sector of the state's economy, accounting for about one quarter of the gross state product. Oil wells were first drilled in the 1860s, and today petroleum is the state's most important mineral. The production of petroleum and petroleum products is centered in Casper. Natural gas is also of considerable economic significance. By the late 1980s, Wyoming ranked first in the United States in the production of coal, sodium carbonate, and uranium.
Wyoming has two spectacular national parks: Grand Teton, which embraces the most stunning portion of the Teton Range, and Yellowstone , which occupies the entire northwest corner of the state and was the world's first national park. Yellowstone's geysers and hot springs are world famous, as is the breathtaking Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Wyoming has almost 10 million acres of forested land. The state's natural beauty makes tourism a major source of revenue. In addition, the multitude of rodeos, annual roundups, and frontier celebrations and the presence of numerous dude ranches draw a large number of vacationers every year.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003