Copper, Utah's State Mineral
Copper is used in electronics, plumbing, transportation and in alloys (mixtures of two or more minerals). It is chosen for its versatility and ability to conduct heat and electricity. Most of the copper now mined in Utah comes from Kennecott's Bingham Copper Mine, the world's largest open pit copper mine. The mine has produced more than 12 million tons of copper since its open pit operations began in 1906.
Coal, Utah's State Rock
Coal starts out as plant matter occurring in wetlands and bogs. It is formed as an anaerobic bacteria breaks down this plant material and converts it into peat by removing its oxygen and hydrogen. The peat is buried in more plant material and sediment thus raising its temperature and pressure. As it compresses, water and methane gas are forced out, leaving an increasing proportion of carbon. With increasing heat and pressure, the peat is converted successively into lignite, sub-bituminous coal, bituminous coal and anthracite. Most of the coal mined in Utah is bituminous.
Coal is used during the coking process in steel production and is burned in power plants to produce heat and electricity. In Utah coal is primarily produced in Emery and Carbon counties.
Topaz, Utah's State Gem
Topaz, Utah's state gem, occurs in cavities of rhyolite in the Thomas Range of western Utah. It is found in a variety of colors, usually sherry-colored in this location. If it is exposed to the sun, it becomes colorless.
Allosaurus, Utah's State Fossil
The Allosaurus is a species of carnivorous dinosaur that roamed Utah about 160 million years ago. More examples of the Allosaurus have been found in Utah quarries than anywhere else in the world. The average Allosaurus weighed four tons, stood 17 feet high on two legs and measured 35 feet long.
Blue Spruce, Utah's State Tree
The blue spruce is an evergreen variety that is able to withstand the temperature extremes of the Wasatch Range and Uinta Mountains at elevations from 6,000 to 11,000 feet. In Utah it is used as an ornamental tree.
Indian Ricegrass, Utah's State Grass
A native perennial bunch grass, Indian ricegrass was used as a staple food by the Indian tribes indigenous to Utah when their crops failed. Indian ricegrass seed can be ground into meal or flour and made into bread.
Rocky Mountain Elk, Utah's State Animal
Related to deer and moose, these animals live in most Utah mountain ranges. Mature bulls weigh as much as 700 pounds.
Sego Lily, Utah's State Flower
The sego lily grows 6-8 inches high and is found in the grasslands of the Basin and Range Province. During their first winter in Utah, the pioneers supplemented their diet with sego lily bulbs because food was scarce.
California Gull, Utah's State Bird
This is the gull made famous when it saved the crops of the early pioneers from the crickets in 1848 and 1849. It nests in large colonies on the islands and dikes of the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake.
Rainbow Trout, Utah's Sport Fish
This is Utah's most popular sport fish. It lives in cold-water lakes and streams.
Honey Bee, Utah's Insect
The symbol of industry and hard work in Utah.