The state of Idaho is a union of nine counties in the southern half of the former state by that name. It is bordered to the northwest by the US state of Lincoln and the northeast by the state of Montana. To the south is an extension of the former state of Utah (now independent and alternately called Deseret). To the west can be found the nation-state of Cascadia. Idaho joined the restored United States in 1995.
More to come...
In the beginning, the cities of southern Idaho were in disarray. The capital city had been destroyed, and as far as the small towns knew they were on their own. The northeast sky glowed with the flames wrought by hundreds of nuclear weapons pounding the mostly empty silos of Montana, The same phenomenon lit the southeast. In the southwest, California burned just over the horizon. The airwaves were silent and when the sun set, there was no light without batteries or old-fashioned fire. The towns absorbed refugees, growing in population but maintained a low profile due to their tiny population.
The separate towns established a network of very cordial informal relations. Even to this day, each town remains mostly self-sufficient and self-governing, relying on well-trusted leaders who generally know every person in their jurisdiction. Contact with the outside was initially reduced by rugged mountains and downed communications, but after a while, there was open contact with both Deseret and the United States. In 1995 the cities of three counties petitioned the government of what was called the Provisional United States to unite with what they considered "America." There application was approved and they became the ninth state.
While they belong to USA, and thus considered to be the NAU, there are towns in the region that are part of Deseret, making borders unclear. For example, St. Anthony is considered to be an exclave of Idaho within northern Deseret. The capital of the state is Salmon, where a handful of representatives meet. Claims exist for most of the former state of Idaho currently claimed and administered by Deseret.
The Earthquake of 1983
Even as the tiny towns of Challis and Mackay were preparing for a winter without power, disaster struck once again. Unlike the nuclear attacks, though, a few people actual died this time. On Friday morning, October 28, 1983, just over a month after Doomsday, the earth shook once again. The whole of the former state of Idaho shook, with Challis receiving a fatal blow as two of its citizens died in a magnitude 6.9 earthquake. The citizens, it was found, had still been in bed, as it was only - 6:06 am local time. The city of Mackay lost much of its downtown to the damage as buildings were damaged all along Main Street, eight of which were abandoned due to perceived dangers from aftershocks. These buildings would be demolished a few years later to make use of their materials.
Originally just three counties encompassing 8231 sq mi with a population of 19,197 (1980 census), the state of Idaho received an unexpected "gift" of the county from which it got its name. In the midst of its border disputes with Desaret, the government at Dubuis received a delegation from Coeur d'Alene, Lincoln. As their former fellow Idahoans were acquiring control over Spokanian lands, the former battleground county of Idaho had wished to be associated with the state that shared its name. As fellow Americans, and with mutual consent, the request was granted to the county. The addition resulted in more that doubling of the area (an additional 8,502 sq. mi. to a new area of 16,733 sq. mi.) and almost doubling the population.
Just as the US government in Torrington was debating the changes, negotiations with Desaret went their way for an additional five counties, again almost doubling the state's size (by 13,382 sq. mi.). The population of the additional counties (1980 census of 31,350) significantly changed the status of Idaho into a major player in the 2000 politics. With a population of over 80,000 in 2008, the state's electorate was key to bringing Wayne Allard to power. Idaho's own Mike Simpson was his running mate.
Idaho had an agricultural economy before Doomsday, and unlike most areas was faced with an industrial crisis rather than an agricultural one. Obtaining fuel for existing farming equipment was probably the single largest difficulty until recently, though a thriving horse industry has been established, with significant trade from the Idaho Falls/Rexburg government. Idaho thrives on potatoes and wheat, and have a large lumber industry. The increase in rain following Doomsday has been a boon for more southerly regions, but has drenched the mountainous area of the state.
Fuel and some manufactured goods have largely been obtained from Utah, but there is also trade with other states within the US. With the promise of a rail-line to connect the US with the Municipal States of the Pacific, Idaho stands to gain a fair amount of prominence economically, as a gateway between the East or West.
Military and Government
Most of the communities in the area have kept the pre-Doomsday city and county governments as the basis for their governments, though they have greatly expanded their powers. Elections are regularly held, with long naturalization period for citizenship that keeps power in the hands of long time citizens. Politics is an intensely personal process, with mayors knowing a good percentage of the population.
Each town has its own militia, which consists of most of the voting male population of the town. The militias have had a minimum expected time of service, and often serve as political forums, as citizenship and service in the militia are closely tied. Though historically there was some tension with Northern Deseret over the disputed territory, no one has thought it worthy of violence. In fact, travel between the two areas is frequent, to the point that many in the region claim dual citizenship.
Idaho is a state the USA and thus the NAU, but until recently was so small that it was often ignored politically. To visitors there is no question of where the loyalties of these citizens lies, for the main distinguishing factor of the towns is their stubborn denial of membership in Deseret, and prominent flag-flying of both the US and NAU flags.
The cities of Eastern Idaho were formally incorporated into two separate states in 1995 in response to the Spokane-Utah war. As the west and south of the state were repopulated, Deseret announced its intention of formally incorporating the area. In response several cities that had been unaffected by the war declared they had no intention of being absorbed by Deseret, most often decrying what was felt to be the strong influence of the LDS Church in the affairs of the government, and petitioned the PUSA to incorporate them as part of the NAU. The NAU responded by creating the state of Idaho, with Dubois, a smaller town in the northern part of the area, as capital. (The move from Dubois to Salmon happened not long after.) The declaration by the PUSA specified many more cities to be part of the state. The resulting border dispute has loomed large in the small area's relationship with Utah, which has typically been characterized by restrictions to trade and travel. However, the trade and travel restrictions have eased in recent years, and the dispute remains in the background.
Interstate trade within the US is limited by the relative difficulty in travel between states. However, trade with the neighboring nations of Cascadia and Utah (Desaret), makes the state an important player in international relations. The borders, still in dispute, are no longer a barrier to trade since Desaret has joined the NAU. With the present plans for a railway through the state, both trade and political relations are sure to be enhanced. Recent overtures from Deseret Vice-Governor Evans to the government in Salmon have promised a significant increase in trade and cooperation. Rumors suggest that there may even be future overtures at reunification.