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Idaho Local Business Directory

Identified with the humble but delicious potato, Idaho is located in the northwestern part of the U.S. and shares a border with British Columbia in Canada. While the origin of this state's name remains unknown, it has been alternately explained as the Shoshone term for "gem of the mountains" and as a word made up by physician, lobbyist and possible swindler George M. Willing. Whatever the actual provenance, the name Idaho stuck and was applied first to Idaho County, then to the Idaho Territory and finally as the name of the State of Idaho. Idaho is rich in gemstones and is known as the Gem State. It is the only U.S. source for star garnets in quantity and derives a significant percentage of its income from the mining of silver and gems.

The Shoshone and Nez Perce were among the American Indian tribes present when the first European settlers arrived. French-Canadian fur traders struck up a lucrative trade with these Native Americans. French and Native American influences can be seen throughout Idaho in the colorful place names and in the three reservations located within the state's borders.

With emphasis shifting away from mining and agriculture and toward science and information industries, Idaho has made the transition from a resource-driven economy to modern technology and data-oriented enterprises. Tourism makes up a significant percentage of Idaho's economy. Yellowstone extends into Idaho across the Wyoming border, and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area features almost 900 miles of hiking trails in a scenic and unspoiled natural landscape.

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