Sen. Mike Crapo
And indeed, it has. The occasion of Idaho’s 117th
birthday on July 3 is a great time to highlight some of the reasons
that each of us can proudly claim the title “Idahoan.”
Idaho was proposed as a name for what is now Colorado
and, although rejected then, the name became more widely-used across
the Northwest Territory. In 1863, Congress designated the “Idaho
Territory.” Less than 30 years and a number of scuffles over capital
and university sitings later, Idaho became a state in 1890.
Atomic City was the first city to be “electrified,”
courtesy of nuclear power, in 1951. Hells Canyon is arguably the deepest
canyon in the United States. The huckleberry is the state fruit; the
state horse, the Appaloosa; and the state bird, the Mountain Bluebird.
Idahoans have always been pioneers.
While people no longer live out of covered wagons, we’ve established ourselves as pioneers in other ways. Idaho is forging new ground in collaborative land use and management. The Owyhee Initiative, the Clearwater Elk Collaborative, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls and multiple local and regional economic development public-private partnerships show Idahoans’ unmistakable sense of independence, innovation and a desire to advocate for individual interests.
Idaho is home to thousands of small businesses; our cities are regularly recognized nationwide as thriving entrepreneurial centers. Above all, Idaho still claims some of the best outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing in the nation. Idaho has retained its wildness while establishing thriving urban communities.
Most important, Idaho is working hard to preserve precious
and vital rural communities, which are part of Idaho’s heritage,
history and character.