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Poll: Should Montana be considered a part of the Pacific Northwest?

Reporters with Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio were scratching their heads Monday morning after CBS News reported that winter weather was heading for the Pacific Northwest.

Really? This early?

Vancouver, Wash. — the most hipster state in the nation?

“Colleen (O’Brien) and I looked up when we heard that, and then CBS reported on snow in Montana,” said KIRO Radio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan. “We looked at each other like ‘Montana isn’t the Northwest.’”

That only further sparked conversation, and debate. Is Big Sky country a part of the Northwest? Is merely a portion of it within the Northwest borders?

Chris, aka Sully, turned to Twitter to poll listeners. Feel free to weigh in.

MyNorthwest’s Stephanie Klein says that there is a distinction between the “Northwest” and the “Pacific Northwest.” Jessamyn McIntiyre with 710 ESPN Seattle argues a similar point.

A firm answer on whether the Treasure State is part of the Northwest depends on who you ask. Encyclopedia Britannica, for example, places the Pacific Northwest strictly with the borders of three states — Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Wikipedia, on the other hand, says the region is also called “Cascadia” and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on one side, and “loosely” by the Rocky Mountains on the other. That would at least place Western Montana in the Northwest. Wikipedia also notes that there are no official borders of the Pacific Northwest.

And this random blog I found says that the Pacific Northwest includes parts of Big Sky, and also Northern California to southeastern Alaska.

Beyond that, a variety of maps include an array of regions, from Alaska to all of Montana, or even just the western portion of Montana (one even includes Wyoming).

Of course, it should be stated that British Columbia is generally included in Northwest maps as well.

So which is it? Is Montana a member of the Pacific Northwest club?

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