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Mountain Landscape, Devil's Tower National Park, Wyoming, United States Of America.

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posted by DM PHOTOGRAPHY alias [email protected] on Friday 4th of December 2015 05:24:46 PM

Devils Tower (also known as Bear Lodge Butte[8]) is a butte, possibly laccolithic, composed of igneous rock in the Bear Lodge Ranger District of the Black Hills, near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River. It rises 1,267 feet (386 m) above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet (265 m) from summit to base. The summit is 5,112 feet (1,559 m) above sea level. Devils Tower was the first United States national monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt.[9] The monument's boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres (545 ha). In recent years, about 1% of the monument's 400,000 annual visitors climbed Devils Tower, mostly using traditional climbing techniques. The name Devil's Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, when his interpreter reportedly misinterpreted a native name to mean "Bad God's Tower".[11] All information signs in that area use the name "Devils Tower", following a geographic naming standard whereby the apostrophe is omitted.[12] Native American names for the monolith include "Bear's House" or "Bear's Lodge" (or "Bear's Tipi", "Home of the Bear", "Bear's Lair"; Cheyenne, Lakota Matȟó Thípila, Crow Daxpitcheeaasáao "Home of Bears"[13]), "Aloft on a Rock" (Kiowa), "Tree Rock", "Great Gray Horn",[11] and "Brown Buffalo Horn" (Lakota Ptehé Ǧí).[citation needed] In 2005, a proposal to recognize several Native American ties through the additional designation of the monolith as Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark met with opposition from United States Representative Barbara Cubin, arguing that a "name change will harm the tourist trade and bring economic hardship to area communities".[14] In November 2014, Arvol Looking Horse proposed renaming the geographical feature "Bear Lodge" and submitted the request to the United States Board on Geographic Names. A second proposal was submitted to request that the U.S. acknowledge what it described as the "offensive" mistake in keeping the current name and to rename the monument and sacred site Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark. The formal public comment period ended in fall 2015. Local state senator Ogden Driskill opposed the change.[15][16] The name was not changed. The landscape surrounding Devils Tower is composed mostly of sedimentary rocks. The oldest rocks visible in Devils Tower National Monument were laid down in a shallow sea during the mid- to late-Triassic period, 225 to 195 million years ago. This dark red sandstone and maroon siltstone, interbedded with shale, can be seen along the Belle Fourche River. Oxidation of iron minerals causes the redness of the rocks. This rock layer is known as the Spearfish Formation. Above the Spearfish Formation is a thin band of white gypsum, called the Gypsum Springs Formation. This layer of gypsum was deposited during the Jurassic period, 195 to 136 million years ago. Created as sea levels and climates repeatedly changed, gray-green shales (deposited in low-oxygen environments such as marshes) were interbedded with fine-grained sandstones, limestones, and sometimes thin beds of red mudstone. This composition, called the Stockade Beaver member, is part of the Sundance Formation. The Hulett Sandstone member, also part of the Sundance Formation, is composed of yellow fine-grained sandstone. Resistant to weathering, it forms the nearly vertical cliffs that encircle the Tower. During the Paleocene Epoch, 56 to 66 million years ago, the Rocky Mountains and the Black Hills were uplifted. Magma rose through the crust, intruding into the existing sedimentary rock layers. Geologists Carpenter and Russell studied Devils Tower in the late 19th century and came to the conclusion that it was formed by an igneous intrusion.[18] Modern geologists agree that it was formed by the intrusion of igneous material, but not on exactly how that process took place. Several believe the molten rock composing the Tower might not have surfaced; others are convinced the tower is all that remains of what once was a large explosive volcano. In 1907, geologists Nelson Horatio Darton and C.C. O'Harra (of the South Dakota School of Mines) theorized that Devils Tower must be an eroded remnant of a laccolith.[19] A laccolith is a large mass of igneous rock which is intruded through sedimentary rock beds without reaching the surface, but makes a rounded bulge in the sedimentary layers above. This theory was quite popular in the early 20th century, since numerous studies had earlier been done on laccoliths in the Southwest. Other theories have suggested that Devils Tower is a volcanic plug or that it is the neck of an extinct volcano. Some pyroclastic material of the same age as Devils Tower has been identified elsewhere in Wyoming.[citation needed] The igneous material that forms the Tower is a phonolite porphyry intruded about 40.5 million years ago,[20] a light to dark-gray or greenish-gray igneous rock with conspicuous crystals of white feldspar.[21] As the magma cooled, hexagonal (and sometimes 4-, 5-, and 7-sided) columns formed, each about six feet in diameter. As the rock continued to cool, the vertical columns shrank in width and cracks began to occur at 120-degree angles, generally forming compact 6-sided columns. The nearby Missouri Buttes, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the northwest of Devils Tower, are also composed of columnar phonolite of the same age. Devils Postpile National Monument in California and Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, are also columnar basalt, which are superficially similar, but with columns typically 2 feet (0.61 m) in diameter. Devils Tower did not visibly protrude out of the landscape until the overlying sedimentary rocks eroded away. As the elements wore down the softer sandstones and shales, the more resistant igneous rock making up the tower survived the erosional forces. As a result, the gray columns of Devils Tower began to appear as an isolated mass above the landscape. As rain and snow continue to erode the sedimentary rocks surrounding the Tower's base, more of Devils Tower will be exposed. Nonetheless, the exposed portions of the Tower still experience certain amounts of erosion. Cracks along the columns are subject to water and ice erosion. Erosion due to the expansion of ice along cracks and fractures within rock formations is common in colder climates, a prime example being the columnar “hoodoo” formations at Bryce Canyon National Park. Portions, or even entire columns, of rock at Devils Tower are continually breaking off and falling. Piles of broken columns, boulders, small rocks, and stones, called scree, lie at the base of the tower, indicating that it was once wider than it is today. According to the Native American tribes of the Kiowa and Lakota, a group of girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides, which had become too steep to climb. Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower. When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the stars of the Pleiades.[22] Another version tells that two Sioux boys wandered far from their village when Mato the bear, a huge creature that had claws the size of tipi poles, spotted them, and wanted to eat them for breakfast. He was almost upon them when the boys prayed to Wakan Tanka the Creator to help them. They rose up on a huge rock, while Mato tried to get up from every side, leaving huge scratch marks as he did. Finally, he sauntered off, disappointed and discouraged. The bear came to rest east of the Black Hills at what is now Bear Butte. Wanblee, the eagle, helped the boys off the rock and back to their village. A painting depicting this legend by artist Herbert A. Collins hangs over the fireplace in the visitor's center at Devils Tower. In a Cheyenne version of the story, the giant bear pursues the girls and kills most of them. Two sisters escape back to their home with the bear still tracking them. They tell two boys that the bear can only be killed with an arrow shot through the underside of its foot. The boys have the sisters lead the bear to Devils Tower and trick it into thinking they have climbed the rock. The boys attempt to shoot the bear through the foot while it repeatedly attempts to climb up and slides back down leaving more claw marks each time. The bear was finally scared off when an arrow came very close to its left foot. This last arrow continued to go up and never came down.[23] Wooden Leg, a Northern Cheyenne, related another legend told to him by an old man as they were traveling together past the Devils Tower around 1866–1868. A Native American man decided to sleep at the base of Bear Lodge next to a buffalo head. In the morning he found that both he and the buffalo head had been transported to the top of the rock by the Great Medicine with no way down. He spent another day and night on the rock with no food or water. After he had prayed all day and then gone to sleep, he awoke to find that the Great Medicine had brought him back down to the ground, but left the buffalo head at the top near the edge. Wooden Leg maintained that the buffalo head was clearly visible through the old man's spyglass. At the time, the tower had never been climbed and a buffalo head at the top was otherwise inexplicable.[24] The buffalo head gives this story special significance for the Northern Cheyenne. All the Cheyenne maintained in their camps a sacred teepee to the Great Medicine containing the tribal sacred objects. In the case of the Northern Cheyenne, the sacred object was a buffalo head.[25] N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) was given the name Tsoai-talee (Rock Tree Boy) by Pohd-lohk, a Kiowa elder, linking the child to the Devils Tower bear myth. To reinforce this mythic connection, his parents took him there.[26] Momaday incorporated the bear myth as unifying subtext into his 1989 novel The Ancient Child. Fur trappers may have visited Devils Tower, but they left no written evidence of having done so. The first documented Caucasian visitors were several members of Captain William F. Raynolds's 1859 expedition to Yellowstone. Sixteen years later, Colonel Richard I. Dodge escorted an Office of Indian Affairs scientific survey party to the massive rock formation and coined the name Devils Tower.[28] Recognizing its unique characteristics, the United States Congress designated the area a U.S. forest reserve in 1892 and in 1906 Devils Tower became the nation's first National monument. In recent years, climbing Devils Tower has increased in popularity. The first known ascent of Devils Tower by any method occurred on July 4, 1893, and is accredited to William Rogers and Willard Ripley, local ranchers in the area. They completed this first ascent after constructing a ladder of wooden pegs driven into cracks in the rock face. A few of these wooden pegs are still intact and are visible on the tower when hiking along the 1.3-mile (2.1 km) Tower Trail at Devils Tower National Monument. Over the following thirty years many climbs were made using this method before the ladder fell into disrepair. The first ascent using modern climbing techniques was made by Fritz Wiessner with William P. House and Lawrence Coveney in 1937. Wiessner led almost the entire climb free, placing only a single piece of fixed gear, a piton, which he later regretted, deeming it unnecessary. In 1941 George Hopkins parachuted onto Devils Tower, without permission, as a publicity stunt resulting from a bet. He had intended to descend by a 1,000 ft (300 m) rope dropped to him after successfully landing on the butte, but the package containing the rope, a sledge hammer and a car axle to be driven into the rock as an anchor point slid over the edge. As the weather deteriorated, a second attempt was made to drop equipment, but Hopkins deemed it unusable after the rope became snarled and frozen due to the rain and wind. Hopkins was stranded for six days, exposed to cold, rain and 50 mph (80 km/h) winds before a mountain rescue team led by Jack Durrance, who had successfully climbed Devils Tower in 1938, finally reached him and brought him down.[30][31] His entrapment and subsequent rescue was widely covered by the media of the time. Today, hundreds of climbers scale the sheer rock walls of Devils Tower each summer. The most common route is the Durrance Route, which was the second free route established in 1938. There are many established and documented climbing routes covering every side of the tower, ascending the various vertical cracks and columns of the rock. The difficulty of these routes range from relatively easy to some of the most challenging in the world. All climbers are required to register with a park ranger before and after attempting a climb. No overnight camping at the summit is allowed; climbers return to base on the same day they ascend.[33] The Tower is sacred to several Plains tribes, including the Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa. Because of this, many Native American leaders objected to climbers ascending the monument, considering this to be a desecration. The climbers argued that they had a right to climb the Tower, since it is on federal land. A compromise was eventually reached with a voluntary climbing ban during the month of June when the tribes are conducting ceremonies around the monument. Climbers are asked, but not required, to stay off the Tower in June. According to the PBS documentary In the Light of Reverence, approximately 85% of climbers honor the ban and voluntarily choose not to climb the Tower during the month of June. However, several climbers along with the Mountain States Legal Foundation sued the Park Service, claiming an inappropriate government entanglement with religion. Devils Tower National Monument protects many species of wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, prairie dogs, and bald eagles.[36][37] In popular culture The 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind used the formation as a plot element and as the location of its climactic scenes.[38][39] Its release was the cause of a large increase in visitors and climbers to the monument.[40] Similarly, the 2011 movie Paul used the formation at the film's climax as an homage to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The Native American story of the formation of the stars of the Pleiades at Devils Tower is featured in the 2014 science documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. In a 2019 episode of The UnXplained titled "Unnatural Nature", documenting and speculating about the formation. Devil's Tower, by the name Mato Tipila, is featured as one of 34 discoverable natural wonders in the 2016 Firaxis video game Civilization VI. Wyoming (/waɪˈoʊmɪŋ/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States. The 10th largest state by area, it is also the least populous and least densely populated state in the contiguous United States.[a] It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the southwest, and Colorado to the south. The state population was estimated at 578,759 in 2019. The state capital and the most populous city is Cheyenne, which had an estimated population of 63,957 in 2018.[6] Wyoming's western half is mostly covered by the ranges and rangelands of the Rocky Mountains, while the eastern half of the state is high-elevation prairie called the High Plains. It is drier and windier than the rest of the country, being split between semi-arid and continental climates with greater temperature extremes. Almost half of the land in Wyoming is owned by the federal government, leading the state to rank sixth by area and fifth by proportion of a state's land owned by the federal government.[7] Federal lands include two national parks—Grand Teton and Yellowstone—two national recreation areas, two national monuments, several national forests, historic sites, fish hatcheries, and wildlife refuges. Original inhabitants of the region include the Arapaho, Crow, Lakota, and Shoshone. Southwest Wyoming was claimed by the Spanish Empire and then as Mexican territory until it was ceded to the U.S. in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War. The region acquired the name "Wyoming" when a bill was introduced to Congress in 1865 to provide a temporary government for the territory of Wyoming. The name had been used earlier for the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, and is derived from the Munsee word xwé:wamənk, meaning "at the big river flat".[8][9] Wyoming's economy is driven by tourism and the extraction of minerals such as coal, natural gas, oil, and trona. Agricultural commodities include barley, hay, livestock, sugar beets, wheat, and wool. It was the first state to allow women the right to vote and become politicians, as well as the first state to elect a female governor. Due to this part of its history, its main nickname is "The Equality State" and its official state motto is "Equal Rights".[1] It has been a politically conservative state since the 1950s, with the Republican presidential nominee carrying the state in every election since 1968.[10] A notable exception is Teton County, which has achieved notability for being Wyoming's most Democratic county and the only county in the state to be won by a Democrat in every election since 2004. Wyoming's climate is generally semi-arid and continental (Köppen climate classification BSk), and is drier and windier in comparison to most of the United States with greater temperature extremes. Much of this is due to the topography of the state. Summers in Wyoming are warm with July high temperatures averaging between 85 and 95 °F (29 and 35 °C) in most of the state. With increasing elevation, however, this average drops rapidly with locations above 9,000 feet (2,700 m) averaging around 70 °F (21 °C). Summer nights throughout the state are characterized by a rapid cooldown with even the hottest locations averaging in the 50–60 °F (10–16 °C) range at night. In most of the state, most of the precipitation tends to fall in the late spring and early summer. Winters are cold, but are variable with periods of sometimes extreme cold interspersed between generally mild periods, with Chinook winds providing unusually warm temperatures in some locations. Wyoming is a dry state with much of the land receiving less than 10 inches (250 mm) of rainfall per year. Precipitation depends on elevation with lower areas in the Big Horn Basin averaging 5–8 inches (130–200 mm), making the area nearly a true desert. The lower areas in the North and on the eastern plains typically average around 10–12 inches (250–300 mm), making the climate there semi-arid. Some mountain areas do receive a good amount of precipitation, 20 inches (510 mm) or more, much of it as snow, sometimes 200 inches (510 cm) or more annually. The state's highest recorded temperature is 114 °F (46 °C) at Basin on July 12, 1900 and the lowest recorded temperature is −66 °F (−54 °C) at Riverside on February 9, 1933. The number of thunderstorm days vary across the state with the southeastern plains of the state having the most days of thunderstorm activity. Thunderstorm activity in the state is highest during the late spring and early summer. The southeastern corner of the state is the most vulnerable part of the state to tornado activity. Moving away from that point and westwards, the incidence of tornadoes drops dramatically with the west part of the state showing little vulnerability. Tornadoes, where they occur, tend to be small and brief, unlike some of those that occur farther east. Casper climate: Average maximum and minimum temperatures, and average rainfall. MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear Average max. temperature °F (°C)32 (0)37 (3)45 (7)56 (13)66 (19)78 (26)87 (31)85 (29)74 (23)60 (16)44 (7)34 (1)58 (14) Average min. temperature °F (°C)12 (−11)16 (−9)21 (−6)28 (−2)37 (3)46 (8)54 (12)51 (11)41 (5)32 (0)21 (−6)14 (−10)31 (-1) Average rainfall inches (mm)0.6 (15.2)0.6 (15.2)1.0 (25.4)1.6 (40.6)2.1 (53.3)1.5 (38.1)1.3 (33.0)0.7 (17.8)0.9 (22.9)1.0 (25.4)0.8 (20.3)0.7 (17.8)12.8 (325.1) Source:[13] Jackson climate: Average maximum and minimum temperatures, and average rainfall. MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear Average max. temperature °F (°C)24 (−4)28 (−2)37 (3)47 (8)58 (14)68 (20)78 (26)77 (25)67 (19)54 (12)37 (3)24 (−4)49 (9) Average min. temperature °F (°C)-1 (−18)2 (−17)10 (−12)21 (−6)30 (−1)36 (2)41 (5)38 (3)31 (−1)22 (−6)14 (−10)0 (−18)20 (-7) Average rainfall inches (mm)2.6 (66.0)1.9 (48.3)1.6 (40.6)1.4 (35.6)1.9 (48.3)1.8 (45.7)1.3 (33.0)1.3 (33.0)1.5 (38.1)1.3 (33.0)2.3 (58.4)2.5 (63.5)21.4 (543.6) Source:[14] Location and size As specified in the designating legislation for the Territory of Wyoming, Wyoming's borders are lines of latitude 41°N and 45°N, and longitude 104°3'W and 111°3'W (27 and 34 west of the Washington Meridian)—a geodesic quadrangle.[15] Wyoming is one of only three states (the others being Colorado and Utah) to have borders defined by only "straight" lines. Due to surveying inaccuracies during the 19th century, Wyoming's legal border deviates from the true latitude and longitude lines by up to half of a mile (0.8 km) in some spots, especially in the mountainous region along the 45th parallel.[16] Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. It is the tenth largest state in the United States in total area, containing 97,814 square miles (253,340 km2) and is made up of 23 counties. From the north border to the south border it is 276 miles (444 km);[17] and from the east to the west border is 365 miles (587 km) at its south end and 342 miles (550 km) at the north end. Natural landforms Mountain ranges Teton Range Green River valley The Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. The state is a great plateau broken by many mountain ranges. Surface elevations range from the summit of Gannett Peak in the Wind River Mountain Range, at 13,804 feet (4,207 m), to the Belle Fourche River valley in the state's northeast corner, at 3,125 feet (952 m). In the northwest are the Absaroka, Owl Creek, Gros Ventre, Wind River, and the Teton ranges. In the north central are the Big Horn Mountains; in the northeast, the Black Hills; and in the southern region the Laramie, Snowy, and Sierra Madre ranges. The Snowy Range in the south central part of the state is an extension of the Colorado Rockies both in geology and in appearance. The Wind River Range in the west central part of the state is remote and includes more than 40 mountain peaks in excess of 13,000 ft (4,000 m) tall in addition to Gannett Peak, the highest peak in the state. The Big Horn Mountains in the north central portion are somewhat isolated from the bulk of the Rocky Mountains. The Teton Range in the northwest extends for 50 miles (80 km), part of which is included in Grand Teton National Park. The park includes the Grand Teton, the second highest peak in the state. The Continental Divide spans north–south across the central portion of the state. Rivers east of the divide drain into the Missouri River Basin and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. They are the North Platte, Wind, Big Horn and the Yellowstone rivers. The Snake River in northwest Wyoming eventually drains into the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, as does the Green River through the Colorado River Basin. The Continental Divide forks in the south central part of the state in an area known as the Great Divide Basin where water that precipitates onto or flows into it cannot reach an ocean—it all sinks into the soil and eventually evaporates. Several rivers begin in or flow through the state, including the Yellowstone River, Bighorn River, Green River, and the Snake River. Basins Much of Wyoming is covered with large basins containing different eco-regions from shrub-lands to smaller patches of desert.[18] Regions of the state classified as basins contain everything from large geologic formations to sand dunes and vast unpopulated spaces. [19] Basin landscapes are typically at lower relative elevations and include rolling hills, valleys, mesas, terraces and other rugged terrain, but they do include natural springs as well as rivers and artificial reservoirs. [20] Though there are common plant species including various subspecies of sagebrush, Juniper and grasses such as Wheatgrass, basin landscapes are known for their diversity of plant and animal species [18]. Islands For a more comprehensive list, see List of islands of Wyoming. Wyoming has 32 named islands; the majority are in Jackson Lake and Yellowstone Lake, within Yellowstone National Park in the northwest portion of the state. The Green River in the southwest also contains a number of islands. Regions and administrative divisions Counties An enlargeable map of the 23 counties of Wyoming For a more comprehensive list, see List of counties in Wyoming. The state of Wyoming has 23 counties. The 23 counties of the state of Wyoming[21] RankCountyPopulationRankCountyPopulation 1Laramie98,32713Converse13,809 2Natrona79,54714Goshen13,378 3Campbell46,24215Big Horn11,906 4Sweetwater43,53416Sublette9,799 5Fremont39,80317Platte8,562 6Albany38,33218Johnson8,476 7Sheridan30,21019Washakie8,064 8Park29,56820Crook7,410 9Teton23,26521Weston6,927 10Uinta20,49522Hot Springs4,696 11Lincoln19,26523Niobrara2,397 12Carbon15,303Wyoming Total579,315 Wyoming license plates have a number on the left that indicates the county where the vehicle is registered, ranked by an earlier census.[22] Specifically, the numbers are representative of the property values of the counties in 1930.[23] The county license plate numbers are: License Plate PrefixCountyLicense Plate PrefixCountyLicense Plate PrefixCounty 1Natrona9Big Horn17Campbell 2Laramie10Fremont18Crook 3Sheridan11Park19Uinta 4Sweetwater12Lincoln20Washakie 5Albany13Converse21Weston 6Carbon14Niobrara22Teton 7Goshen15Hot Springs23Sublette 8Platte16Johnson Cities and towns Cheyenne, Wyoming Casper, Wyoming Evanston, Wyoming Rawlins, Wyoming The State of Wyoming has 99 incorporated municipalities. Most Populous Wyoming Cities and Towns[24] RankCityCountyPopulation 1CheyenneLaramie63,957 2CasperNatrona57,461 3LaramieAlbany32,473 4GilletteCampbell31,903 5Rock SpringsSweetwater23,082 6SheridanSheridan17,849 7Green RiverSweetwater11,978 8EvanstonUinta11,704 9RivertonFremont10,996 10JacksonTeton10,429 11CodyPark9,828 12RawlinsCarbon8,658 13LanderFremont7,503 14TorringtonGoshen6,701 15PowellPark6,310 16DouglasConverse6,273 In 2005, 50.6% of Wyomingites lived in one of the 13 most populous Wyoming municipalities. Metropolitan areas The United States Census Bureau has defined two Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) and seven Micropolitan Statistical Areas (MiSA) for the State of Wyoming. In 2008, 30.4% of Wyomingites lived in either of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and 73% lived in either a Metropolitan Statistical Area or a Micropolitan Statistical Area. Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas[25] Census AreaCountyPopulation CheyenneLaramie98,976 CasperNatrona79,115 GilletteCampbell46,140 Rock SpringsSweetwater43,051 RivertonFremont39,531 LaramieAlbany38,601 JacksonTeton County, Wyoming23,081 Teton County, Idaho11,640 Total34,721 SheridanSheridan30,233 EvanstonUinta20,299 Wind River Indian Reservation Main article: Wind River Indian Reservation Wind River Canyon The Wind River Indian Reservation is shared by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes of Native Americans in the central western portion of the state near Lander. The reservation is home to 2,500 Eastern Shoshone and 5,000 Northern Arapaho.[26] Chief Washakie established the reservation in 1868[27] as the result of negotiations with the federal government in the Fort Bridger Treaty.[28] However, the Northern Arapaho were forced onto the Shoshone reservation in 1876 by the federal government after the government failed to provide a promised separate reservation.[28] Today the Wind River Indian Reservation is jointly owned, with each tribe having a 50% interest in the land, water, and other natural resources.[29] The reservation is a sovereign, self-governed land with two independent governing bodies: the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Until 2014, the Shoshone Business Council and Northern Arapaho Business Council met jointly as the Joint Business Council to decide matters that affect both tribes.[27] Six elected council members from each tribe served on the joint council. Public lands Wyoming terrain map Nearly half the land in Wyoming (about 30,099,430 acres (121,808.1 km2)) is owned by the federal government; the state owns another 3,864,800 acres (15,640 km2).[7] Most of it is administered by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service in numerous national forests and a national grassland, not to mention vast swaths of "public" land and an air force base near Cheyenne. National Park Service sites map There are also areas managed by the National Park Service and agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. National parks Grand Teton National Park Yellowstone National Park—first designated national park in the world[30] Memorial parkway The John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway connects Yellowstone and Grand Teton. National recreation areas Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (managed by the Forest Service as part of Ashley National Forest) National monuments Devils Tower National Monument—first national monument in the U.S.[30] Fossil Butte National Monument National historic trails, landmarks and sites California National Historic Trail Fort Laramie National Historic Site Independence Rock National Historic Landmark Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail National Register of Historic Places listings in Wyoming Oregon National Historic Trail Pony Express National Historic Trail National fish hatcheries Jackson National Fish Hatchery Saratoga National Fish Hatchery National wildlife refuges National Elk Refuge Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge Yellowstone National Park Devils Tower National Monument Thunder Basin National Grassland Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge Panoramic view of the Teton Range looking west from Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park History Main article: History of Wyoming The first Fort Laramie as it looked before 1840 (painting from memory by Alfred Jacob Miller) Several Native American groups originally inhabited the region now known as Wyoming. The Crow, Arapaho, Lakota, and Shoshone were but a few of the original inhabitants white explorers encountered when they first visited the region. What is now southwestern Wyoming became a part of the Spanish Empire, and later Mexican territory, of Alta California, until it was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War. French-Canadian trappers from Québec and Montréal ventured into the area in the late 18th century, leaving French toponyms such as Téton and La Ramie. John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, itself guided by French Canadian Toussaint Charbonneau and his young Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, first described the region in 1807. At the time, his reports of the Yellowstone area were considered to be fictional.[31] Robert Stuart and a party of five men, returning from Astoria, discovered South Pass in 1812. The Oregon Trail later followed that route. In 1850, Jim Bridger located what is now known as Bridger Pass, which the Union Pacific Railroad used in 1868, as did Interstate 80, 90 years later. Bridger also explored Yellowstone and filed reports on the region that, like those of Colter, were largely regarded at the time as tall tales. The region acquired the name Wyoming by 1865, when Representative James Mitchell Ashley of Ohio introduced a bill to Congress to provide a "temporary government for the territory of Wyoming". The territory was named after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, made famous by the 1809 poem Gertrude of Wyoming by Thomas Campbell, based on the Battle of Wyoming in the American Revolutionary War. The name ultimately derives from the Munsee word xwé:wamənk, meaning "at the big river flat".[8][9] A backcountry road in the Sierra Madre Range of southeastern Wyoming, near Bridger Peak The region's population grew steadily after the Union Pacific Railroad reached the town of Cheyenne in 1867, and the federal government established the Wyoming Territory on July 25, 1868.[32] Wyoming lacked significant deposits of gold and silver, unlike mineral-rich Colorado, and did not experience Colorado's related population boom. However, South Pass City did have a short-lived boom after the Carissa Mine began producing gold in 1867.[33] Furthermore, copper was mined in some areas between the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Snowy Range near Grand Encampment.[34] Once government-sponsored expeditions to the Yellowstone country began, reports by Colter and Bridger, previously believed to be apocryphal, were found to be true. That led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park, which became the world's first national park in 1872. Nearly all of Yellowstone National Park lies within the far northwestern borders of Wyoming. On December 10, 1869, territorial Governor John Allen Campbell extended the right to vote to women, making Wyoming the first territory and, later, United States state, to grant suffrage to women. Wyoming was also a pioneer in welcoming women into politics. Women first served on juries in Wyoming (Laramie in 1870). Wyoming had the first female court bailiff (Mary Atkinson, Laramie, in 1870), and the first female justice of the peace in the country (Esther Hobart Morris, South Pass City, in 1870). As well, in 1924, Wyoming became the first state to elect a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who took office in January 1925.[35] Due to its civil-rights history, one of Wyoming's state nicknames is "The Equality State", and the official state motto is "Equal Rights".[1] Wyoming's constitution included women's suffrage and a pioneering article on water rights.[36] Congress admitted Wyoming into the Union as the 44th state on July 10, 1890.[1] Wyoming was the location of the Johnson County War of 1892, which erupted between competing groups of cattle ranchers. The passage of the federal Homestead Act led to an influx of small ranchers. A range war broke out when either or both of the groups chose violent conflict over commercial competition in the use of the public land. Demographics Historical population CensusPop.%± 18709,118— 188020,789128.0% 189062,555200.9% 190092,53147.9% 1910145,96557.7% 1920194,40233.2% 1930225,56516.0% 1940250,74211.2% 1950290,52915.9% 1960330,06613.6% 1970332,4160.7% 1980469,55741.3% 1990453,588−3.4% 2000493,7828.9% 2010563,62614.1% 2019 (est.)578,7592.7% Sources: 1910–2010[37][38][22] 2019 estimate[39] Population The largest population centers are Cheyenne (southeast) and Casper. The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of Wyoming was 578,759 in 2019,[39] The center of population of Wyoming is in Natrona County.[40][41] In 2014, the United States Census Bureau estimated the population's racial composition was 92.7% white (82.9% non-Hispanic white), 2.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.6% Black or African American, 1.0% Asian American, and 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.[42] As of 2011, 24.9% of Wyoming's population younger than age 1 were minorities.[43] According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of the population was 90.7% white, 0.8% black or African American, 2.4% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.8% Asian American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 2.2% from two or more races, and 3.0% from some other race. Ethnically, 8.9% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race) and 91.1% Non-Hispanic, with non-Hispanic whites constituting the largest non-Hispanic group at 85.9%.[44] As of 2015, Wyoming had an estimated population of 586,107, which was an increase of 1,954, or 0.29%, from the prior year and an increase of 22,481, or 3.99%, since the 2010 census. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 12,165 (33,704 births minus 21,539 deaths) and an increase from net migration of 4,035 into the state. Immigration resulted in a net increase of 2,264 and migration within the country produced a net increase of 1,771. In 2004, the foreign-born population was 11,000 (2.2%). In 2005, total births in Wyoming were 7,231 (birth rate of 14.04 per thousand).[45] Sparsely populated, Wyoming is the least populous state of the United States. Wyoming has the second-lowest population density in the country (behind Alaska) and is the sparsest-populated of the 48 contiguous states. It is one of only two states (Vermont) with a population smaller than that of the nation's capital. According to the 2000 census, the largest ancestry groups in Wyoming are: German (26.0%), English (16.0%), Irish (13.3%), Norwegian (4.3%), and Swedish (3.5%).[46][failed verification] Birth data Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number. Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of Mother Race2013[47]2014[48]2015[49]2016[50]2017[51]2018[52] White:7,090 (92.7%)7,178 (93.2%)7,217 (92.9%)......... Non-Hispanic White6,136 (80.3%)6,258 (81.3%)6,196 (79.8%)5,763 (78.0%)5,426 (78.6%)5,078 (77.4%) American Indian305 (4.0%)294 (3.8%)294 (3.8%)200 (2.7%)206 (3.0%)219 (3.3%) Asian124 (1.6%)108 (1.4%)135 (1.7%)100 (1.3%)79 (1.1%)72 (1.1%) Black125 (1.6%)116 (1.5%)119 (1.5%)63 (0.9%)45 (0.7%)57 (0.9%) Hispanic (of any race)926 (12.1%)895 (11.6%)963 (12.4%)973 (13.2%)892 (12.9%)851 (13.0%) Total Wyoming7,644 (100%)7,696 (100%)7,765 (100%)7,386 (100%)6,903 (100%)6,562 (100%) Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Government and politics Further information: Elections in Wyoming Wyoming State Capitol building, Cheyenne State government Wyoming's Constitution established three branches of government: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The state legislature comprises a House of Representatives with 60 members and a Senate with 30 members. The executive branch is headed by the governor and includes a secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and superintendent of public instruction. Wyoming does not have a lieutenant governor. The secretary of state is first in the line of succession. Wyoming's sparse population warrants it only one at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and hence only three votes in the Electoral College. The Wyoming State Liquor Association is the state's sole legal wholesale distributor of spirits, making it an alcoholic beverage control state. With the exception of wine, state law prohibits the purchase of alcoholic beverages for resale from any other source.[53] Judicial system Wyoming's highest court is the Supreme Court of Wyoming, with five justices presiding over appeals from the state's lower courts. Wyoming is unusual in that it does not have an intermediate appellate court, like most states. This is largely attributable to the state's population and correspondingly lower caseload. Appeals from the state district courts go directly to the Wyoming Supreme Court. Wyoming also has state circuit courts (formerly county courts), of limited jurisdiction, which handle certain types of cases, such as civil claims with lower dollar amounts, misdemeanor criminal offenses, and felony arraignments. Circuit court judges also commonly hear small claims cases as well. Before 1972, Wyoming judges were selected by popular vote on a nonpartisan ballot. This earlier system was criticized by the state bar who called for the adoption of the Missouri Plan, a system designed to balance judiciary independence with judiciary accountability. In 1972, an amendment to Article 5 of the Wyoming Constitution, which incorporated a modified version of the plan, was adopted by the voters. Since the adoption of the amendment, all state court judges in Wyoming are nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission and appointed by the Governor. They are then subject to a retention vote by the electorate one year after appointment.[54] Political history Further information: Political party strength in Wyoming PartyRegistered Voters[55]PercentWyoming party registration by county.svg Party registration by county (December 2018): Republican >= 40% Republican >= 50% Republican >= 60% Republican >= 70% Republican >= 80% Republican176,35567.18% Democratic47,10817.94% No party affiliation35,74513.62% Libertarian Party2,3860.91% Constitution Party7930.30% Other1370.05% Total Voters262,524100.00% Wyoming's political history defies easy classification. The state was the first to grant women the right to vote and to elect a woman governor.[56] On December 10, 1869, John Allen Campbell, the first Governor of the Wyoming Territory, approved the first law in United States history explicitly granting women the right to vote. This day was later commemorated as Wyoming Day.[56] On November 5, 1889, voters approved the first constitution in the world granting full voting rights to women.[57] While the state elected notable Democrats to federal office in the 1960s and 1970s, politics have become decidedly more conservative since the 1980s as the Republican Party came to dominate the state's congressional delegation. Today, Wyoming is represented in Washington by its two Senators, John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, and its one member of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Liz Cheney. All three are Republicans; a Democrat has not represented Wyoming in the Senate since 1977 or in the House since 1978. The state has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1964, one of only eight times since statehood. At present, there is only one relatively reliably Democratic county, affluent Teton, and one swing county, college county Albany. In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush won his second-largest victory, with 69% of the vote. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is a Wyoming resident and represented the state in Congress from 1979 to 1989. Republicans are no less dominant at the state level. They have held a majority in the state senate continuously since 1936 and in the state house since 1964. However, Democrats held the governorship for all but eight years between 1975 and 2011. Uniquely, Wyoming elected Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross as the first woman in United States history to serve as state governor. She served from 1925 to 1927, winning a special election after her husband, William Bradford Ross, unexpectedly died a little more than a year into his term.[58] Voter registration by county Republicans have a majority of registered votes in all but two counties: Albany and Teton, where they have a plurality of registered voters. RepublicanDemocraticNPALibertarianConstitutionOthersMarginTotal CountyVoters%Voters%Voters%Voters%Voters%Voters%Voters%Voters Albany7,86245.38%5,54131.98%3,58520.69%2981.72%390.23%10.00%2,32113.40%17,326 Big Horn4,59782.84%4518.13%4327.79%290.52%400.72%00.00%4,14674.71%5,549 Campbell15,45882.90%1,0735.75%1,8519.93%1861.00%510.27%270.14%14,38577.15%18,646 Carbon4,11862.36%1,33620.23%1,06416.11%721.09%130.20%10.02%2,78242.13%6,604 Converse5,49981.45%5658.37%6309.33%300.44%240.36%30.04%4,93473.08%6,751 Crook3,39486.38%2275.78%2706.87%180.46%200.51%00.00%3,16780.60%3,929 Fremont11,54666.16%3,51620.15%2,18712.53%1480.85%510.29%30.02%8,03046.01%17,451 Goshen4,47274.45%86714.43%61410.22%360.60%180.30%00.00%3,60560.02%6,007 Hot Springs2,09578.41%31111.64%2449.13%140.52%80.30%00.00%1,78466.77%2,672 Johnson3,85784.07%3196.95%3768.20%230.50%130.28%00.00%3,53877.12%4,588 Laramie25,32560.35%9,72823.18%6,42115.30%3470.83%990.24%450.11%15,59737.17%41,965 Lincoln6,95776.01%8749.55%1,21713.30%750.82%270.29%30.03%6,08366.46%9,153 Natrona22,80067.23%5,63016.60%4,97314.66%3631.07%1450.43%00.00%17,17050.63%33,911 Niobrara1,19988.81%735.41%715.26%40.30%30.22%00.00%1,12683.40%1,350 Park12,13377.82%1,4959.59%1,80811.60%1090.70%460.03%10.01%10,63868.23%15,592 Platte3,38472.62%70715.17%49210.56%450.97%320.69%00.00%2,67757.45%4,660 Sheridan10,59370.76%2,30015.36%1,89112.63%1250.83%270.18%350.23%8,29355.40%14,971 Sublette3,71782.25%3938.70%3818.43%240.53%60.13%10.02%3,32473.55%4,519 Sweetwater9,80456.22%4,89428.06%2,48514.25%1981.14%560.32%20.01%4,91028.16%17,439 Teton5,10238.90%4,84136.91%3,04823.24%1110.85%110.08%40.03%2611.99%13,117 Uinta6,27371.94%1,26414.50%1,05012.04%830.95%400.46%100.11%5,00957.44%8,720 Washakie3,15879.47%43510.95%3428.61%270.68%120.30%00.00%2,72368.52%3,974 Weston3,01583.06%2687.38%3138.62%210.58%120.33%10.03%2,83775.68%3,630 State Total176,35567.18%47,10817.94%35,74513.62%2,3860.91%7930.30%1370.05%129,24749.24%262,524 Culture Languages In 2010, 93.39% (474,343) of Wyomingites over the age of 5 spoke English as their primary language. 4.47% (22,722) spoke Spanish, 0.35% (1,771) spoke German, and 0.28% (1,434) spoke French. Other common non-English languages included Algonquian (0.18%), Russian (0.10%), Tagalog, and Greek (both 0.09%).[59] In 2007, the American Community Survey reported 6.2% (30,419) of Wyoming's population over five spoke a language other than English at home. Of those, 68.1% were able to speak English very well, 16.0% spoke English well, 10.9% did not speak English well, and 5.0% did not speak English at all.[60] Religion in Wyoming (2014)[61] ReligionPercent Protestant   43% Unaffiliated   26% Catholic   14% Mormon   9% Jehovah's Witness   3% Other Christian   1% Buddhist   1% Other   3% Religion According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, the religious affiliations of the people of Wyoming were: 49% Protestants, 18% Catholics, 9% Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and less than 1% Jewish.[62] A 2010 ARDA report recognized as the largest denominations in Wyoming the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) with 62,804 (11%), the Catholic Church with 61,222 (10.8%) and the Southern Baptist Convention with 15,812 adherents (2.8%). The same report counted 59,247 Evangelical Protestants (10.5%), 36,539 Mainline Protestants (6.5%), 785 Eastern Orthodox Christians; 281 Black Protestants, as well as 65,000 adhering to other traditions and 340,552 not claiming any tradition.[63] Sports Due to its sparse population, Wyoming lacks any major professional sports teams. However, the Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls—particularly the football and basketball teams—are quite popular. Their stadiums in Laramie are about 7,200 feet (2,200 m) above sea level, the highest in NCAA Division I. The Wyoming High School Activities Association also sponsors twelve sports. Casper has hosted the College National Finals Rodeo since 2001. State symbols For a more comprehensive list, see List of Wyoming state symbols. State flower of Wyoming: Indian paintbrush List of all Wyoming state symbols:[1] State bird: western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) State coin: Sacagawea dollar State dinosaur: Triceratops State emblem: Bucking Horse and Rider State fish: cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) State flag: Flag of the State of Wyoming State flower: Wyoming Indian paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia) State fossil: Knightia State gemstone: Wyoming nephrite jade State grass: western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) State insect: Sheridan's green hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys sheridanii) State mammal: American bison (Bison bison) State motto: Equal Rights State nicknames: Equality State; Cowboy State; Big Wyoming State reptile: horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassi brevirostre) State seal: Great Seal of the State of Wyoming State song: "Wyoming" by Charles E. Winter & George E. Knapp State sport: rodeo State tree: plains cottonwood (Populus sargentii) Economy and infrastructure Further information: Wyoming locations by per capita income and List of power stations in Wyoming Wind farm in Uinta County According to the 2012 United States Bureau of Economic Analysis report, Wyoming's gross state product was $38.4 billion.[64] As of 2014 the population was growing slightly with the most growth in tourist-oriented areas such as Teton County. Boom conditions in neighboring states such as North Dakota were drawing energy workers away. About half of Wyoming's counties showed population losses.[65] The state makes active efforts through Wyoming Grown, an internet-based recruitment program, to find jobs for young people educated in Wyoming who have emigrated but may wish to return.[66] The mineral extraction industry and travel and tourism sector are the main drivers behind Wyoming's economy. The federal government owns about 50% of its landmass, while 6% is controlled by the state. Total taxable values of mining production in Wyoming for 2001 was over $6.7 billion. The tourism industry accounts for over $2 billion in revenue for the state. In 2002, more than six million people visited Wyoming's national parks and monuments. The key tourist attractions in Wyoming include Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, Independence Rock and Fossil Butte National Monument. Each year Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park, receives three million visitors. Historically, agriculture has been an important component of Wyoming's economy. Its overall importance to the performance of Wyoming's economy has waned. However, agriculture is still an essential part of Wyoming's culture and lifestyle. The main agricultural commodities produced in Wyoming include livestock (beef), hay, sugar beets, grain (wheat and barley), and wool. More than 91% of land in Wyoming is classified as rural. Wyoming is the home of only a handful of companies with a regional or national presence. Taco John's and Sierra Trading Post, both in Cheyenne, are privately held. Cloud Peak Energy in Gillette and U.S. Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: USEG) in Riverton are Wyoming's only publicly traded companies. Mineral and energy production North Antelope Rochelle Mine, the largest estimated coal mine reserve in the world, as of 2013[67] A natural gas rig west of the Wind River Range Wyoming's mineral commodities include coal, natural gas, coalbed methane, crude oil, uranium, and trona. Coal: Wyoming produced 277 million short tons (251.29 million metric tons) of coal in 2019 which was a 9 percent drop from the year before.[68]Wyoming's coal production peaked in 2008 when 514 million short tons (466.3 million metric tons) was produced.[68] Wyoming possesses a reserve of 68.7 billion tons (62.3 billion metric tons) of coal. Major coal areas include the Powder River Basin and the Green River Basin. Coalbed methane (CBM): The boom for CBM began in the mid-1990s. CBM is characterized as methane gas that is extracted from Wyoming's coal bed seams. It is another means of natural gas production. There has been substantial CBM production in the Powder River Basin. In 2002, the CBM production yield was 327.5 billion cubic feet (9.3 km3). Crude oil: Wyoming produced 53.4 million barrels (8.49×106 m3) of crude oil in 2007. The state ranked fifth nationwide in oil production in 2007.[69] Petroleum is most often used as a motor fuel, but it is also utilized in the manufacture of plastics, paints, and synthetic rubber. Diamonds: The Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine, located in Colorado less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from the Wyoming border, produced gem quality diamonds for several years. The Wyoming craton, which hosts the kimberlite volcanic pipes that were mined, underlies most of Wyoming. Natural gas: Wyoming produced 1.77 trillion cubic feet (50.0 billion m3) of natural gas in 2016. The state ranked 6th nationwide for natural gas production in 2016.[70] The major markets for natural gas include industrial, commercial, and domestic heating. Trona: Wyoming possesses the world's largest known reserve of trona,[71] a mineral used for manufacturing glass, paper, soaps, baking soda, water softeners, and pharmaceuticals. In 2008, Wyoming produced 46 million short tons (41.7 million metric tons) of trona, 25% of the world's production.[71] Wind power: Because of Wyoming's geography and high-altitude, the potential for wind power in Wyoming is one of the highest of any state in the US. The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is the largest commercial wind generation facility under development in North America.[72] Carbon County is home to the largest proposed wind farm in the US. However, construction plans have been halted because of proposed new taxes on wind power energy production.[73] Uranium: Although uranium mining in Wyoming is much less active than it was in previous decades, recent increases in the price of uranium have generated new interest in uranium prospecting and mining. Taxes Unlike most other states, Wyoming does not levy an individual or corporate income tax. In addition, Wyoming does not assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. Wyoming has a state sales tax of 4%. Counties have the option of collecting an additional 1% tax for general revenue and a 1% tax for specific purposes, if approved by voters. Food for human consumption is not subject to sales tax.[74] There also is a county lodging tax that varies from 2% to 5%. The state collects a use tax of 5% on items purchased elsewhere and brought into Wyoming. All property tax is based on the assessed value of the property and Wyoming's Department of Revenue's Ad Valorem Tax Division supports, trains, and guides local government agencies in the uniform assessment, valuation and taxation of locally assessed property. "Assessed value" means taxable value; "taxable value" means a percent of the fair market value of property in a particular class. Statutes limit property tax increases. For county revenue, the property tax rate cannot exceed 12 mills (or 1.2%) of assessed value. For cities and towns, the rate is limited to eight mills (0.8%). With very few exceptions, state law limits the property tax rate for all governmental purposes. Personal property held for personal use is tax-exempt. Inventory if held for resale, pollution control equipment, cash, accounts receivable, stocks and bonds are also exempt. Other exemptions include property used for religious, educational, charitable, fraternal, benevolent and government purposes and improvements for handicapped access. Mine lands, underground mining equipment, and oil and gas extraction equipment are exempt from property tax but companies must pay a gross products tax on minerals and a severance tax on mineral production.[75][76] Wyoming does not collect inheritance taxes. There is limited estate tax related to federal estate tax collection. In 2008, the Tax Foundation ranked Wyoming as having the single most "business friendly" tax climate of all 50 states.[77] Wyoming state and local governments in fiscal year 2007 collected $2.242 billion in taxes, levies, and royalties from the oil and gas industry. The state's mineral industry, including oil, gas, trona, and coal provided $1.3 billion in property taxes from 2006 mineral production.[69] Wyoming receives more federal tax dollars per capita in aid than any other state except Alaska. The federal aid per capita in Wyoming is more than double the United States average.[78] As of 2016, Wyoming does not require the beneficial owners of LLCs to be disclosed in the filing, which creates an opportunity for a tax haven, according to Clark Stith of Clark Stith & Associates in Rock Springs, Wyoming, a former Republican candidate for Wyoming secretary of state.[79] Transportation Further information: List of Wyoming railroads, List of airports in Wyoming, and State highways in Wyoming Major highways of Wyoming The largest airport in Wyoming is Jackson Hole Airport, with more than 500 employees.[80] Three interstate highways and thirteen United States highways pass through Wyoming. In addition, the state is served by the Wyoming state highway system. Interstate 25 enters the state south of Cheyenne and runs north, intersecting Interstate 80 immediately west of Cheyenne. It passes through Casper and ends at Interstate 90 near Buffalo. Interstate 80 crosses the Utah border west of Evanston and runs east through the southern third of the state, passing through Cheyenne before entering Nebraska near Pine Bluffs. Interstate 90 comes into Wyoming near Parkman and cuts through the northeastern part of the state. It serves Gillette and enters South Dakota east of Sundance. U.S. Routes 14, 16, and the eastern section of U.S. 20 all have their western terminus at the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park and pass through Cody. U.S. 14 travels eastward before joining I-90 at Gillette. U.S. 14 then follows I-90 to the South Dakota border. U.S. 16 and 20 split off of U.S. 14 at Greybull and U.S. 16 turns east at Worland while U.S. 20 continues south Shoshoni. U.S. Route 287 carries traffic from Fort Collins, Colorado into Laramie, Wyoming through a pass between the Laramie Mountains and the Medicine Bow Mountains, merges with US 30 and I-80 until it reaches Rawlins, where it continues north, passing Lander. Outside of Moran, U.S. 287 is part of a large interchange with U.S. Highways 26, 191, and 89, before continuing north to the southern entrance of Yellowstone. U.S. 287 continues north of Yellowstone, but the two sections are separated by the national park. Other U.S. highways that pass through the state are 18, 26, 30, 85, 87, 89, 189, 191, 212, and 287. Wyoming is one of only two states (South Dakota) in the 48 contiguous states not served by Amtrak.[81] It was once served by Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr and Pioneer lines.[citation needed] Education For a more comprehensive list, see List of high schools in Wyoming. The Rocky Mountain Herbarium at the University of Wyoming Public education is directed by the state superintendent of public instruction, an elected state official. Educational policies are set by the State Board of Education, a nine-member board appointed by the governor. The constitution prohibits the state from establishing curriculum and textbook selections; these are the prerogatives of local school boards. The Wyoming School for the Deaf was the only in-state school dedicated to supporting deaf students in Wyoming before its closure in the summer of 2000.[82] Higher education For a more comprehensive list, see List of colleges and universities in Wyoming. Wyoming has one public four-year institution, the University of Wyoming in Laramie and one private four-year college, Wyoming Catholic College, in Lander, Wyoming. In addition, there are seven two-year community colleges spread throughout the state. Before the passing of a new law in 2006, Wyoming had hosted unaccredited institutions, many of them suspected diploma mills.[83] The 2006 law is forcing unaccredited institutions to make one of three choices: move out of Wyoming, close down, or apply for accreditation. The Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization predicted in 2007 that in a few years the problem of diploma mills in Wyoming might be resolved.[84] Media Main articles: List of television stations in Wyoming, List of newspapers in Wyoming, and List of radio_stations in Wyoming Wyoming's media market consists of 16 broadcast TV stations, radio stations and dozens of small to medium sized newspapers.[85][86][87] There are also a few small independent news sources such as, a non-profit news site[88] and Oil City News.

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