It had one crescent-shaped land mass that reached from sub-arctic to sub-antarctic latitudes, stretching almost two thirds of the way around the planet. While poor in mineral resources, including dilithium, it had rich soil ideal for agriculture.
Until 2263, Gamma Tauri IV was unoccupied by sentient lifeforms. By 2266 the agricultural colony of New Boulder had been established, set up as part of Operation Vanguard with assistance from the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, in particular by the crew of the USS Lovell.
However, New Boulder's president, Jeanne Vinueza, rejected Federation protectorate status on behalf of her constituents, and declared the planet an independent state. Once the Klingons discovered this, they landed a colony ship approximately fifty kilometers from New Boulder near the Cardalian Mountains. The Klingon colonists were really scientists and Klingon Defense Force personnel ordered by Chancellor Sturka and Councillor Indizar to investigate the planet for Shedai technology - The same reason that Starfleet in the form of the S.C.E. was there.
Not long after the Klingons landed, they were attacked by Shedai Sentinels. Starfleet attempted to evacuate the New Boulder colonists but were under orders not to disclose the real reason. The colonists refused to leave and were quickly set upon by the Sentinels. Commodore Diego Reyes of starbase Vanguard invoked General Order 24 to stop the Shedai threat, so the Lovell and the USS Endeavour, along with the IKS HovQaw'wI', bombarded Gamma Tauri IV with photon torpedoes until the planet was devoid of life. (VAN novel: Reap the Whirlwind)