Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Idaho, is the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, the population of Boise at the 2010 Census was 205,671, the 99th largest in the United States, its estimated population in 2016 was 223,154. The Boise-Nampa metropolitan area known as the Treasure Valley, includes five counties with a combined population of 709,845, the most populous metropolitan area in Idaho, it contains. Boise is the 80th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States. Accounts differ regarding the name's origin. One account credits Capt. B. L. E. Bonneville of the U. S. Army as its source. After trekking for weeks through dry and rough terrain, his exploration party reached an overlook with a view of the Boise River Valley; the place where they stood is called Bonneville Point, located on the Oregon Trail east of the city. According to the story, a French-speaking guide, overwhelmed by the sight of the verdant river, yelled "Les bois!
Les bois!" —and the name stuck. The name may instead derive from earlier mountain men. In the 1820s, French Canadian fur trappers set trap lines in the vicinity. Set in a high-desert area, the tree-lined valley of the Boise River became a distinct landmark, an oasis dominated by cottonwood trees, they called this "La rivière boisée", which means "the wooded river." The area was called Boise long before the establishment of Fort Boise by the federal government. The original Fort Boise was 40 miles west, near Parma, down the Boise River near its confluence with the Snake River at the Oregon border; this private sector defense was erected by the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1830s. It was abandoned in the 1850s, but massacres along the Oregon Trail prompted the U. S. Army to re-establish a fort in the area in 1863 during the U. S. Civil War; the new location was selected because it was near the intersection of the Oregon Trail with a major road connecting the Boise Basin and the Owyhee mining areas, both of which were booming.
During the mid-1860s, Idaho City was the largest city in the Northwest, as a staging area, Fort Boise grew rapidly. The first capital of the Idaho Territory was Lewiston in north central Idaho, which in 1863 was the largest community, exceeding the populations of Olympia and Seattle, Washington Territory and Portland, Oregon combined; the original territory was larger than Texas. But following the creation of Montana Territory, Boise was made the territorial capital of a much reduced Idaho in a controversial decision which overturned a district court ruling by a one-vote majority in the territorial supreme court along geographic lines in 1866. Designed by Alfred B. Mullett, the U. S. Assay Office at 210 Main Street was built in 1871 and today is a National Historic Landmark. Most native and longtime residents use the pronunciation / ˈbɔɪsiː /; the pronunciation is sometimes used as a shibboleth, as outsiders tend to pronounce the city's name as /ˈbɔɪziː/. Boise is in southwestern Idaho, about 41 miles east of the Oregon border, 110 miles north of the Nevada border.
The downtown area's elevation is 2,704 feet above sea level. Most of the metropolitan area lies on a flat plain, descending to the west. Mountains rise to the northeast, stretching from the far southeastern tip of the Boise city limits to nearby Eagle; these mountains are known to locals as the Boise foothills and are sometimes described as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. About 34 miles southwest of Boise, about 26 miles southwest of Nampa, the Owyhee Mountains lie in neighboring Owyhee County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 80.05 square miles, of which, 79.36 square miles is land and 0.69 square miles is water. The city is drained by the Boise River; the City of Boise is considered part of the Treasure Valley. Boise occupies a large area — 64 sq mi according to the United States Census Bureau. Like all major cities, it has several neighborhoods, including the Bench, the North End, West Boise and Downtown. In January 2014, the Boise Police Department partnered with the folksonomic neighborhood blogging site Nextdoor, the first city in the Northwest and the 137th city in the U.
S. to do so. Since the app, which enables the city's police and parks departments to post to self-selected localized areas, first became available in October 2011, 101 neighborhoods and sections of neighborhoods have joined. Downtown Boise is Boise's cultural home to many small businesses and a few mid-rises. While downtown Boise lacks a major retail/dining focus like Seattle and Portland, the area has a variety of shops and growing option for dining choices. Centrally, 8th Street contains a pedestrian zone with sidewalk restaurants; the neighborhood has many local restaurants and boutiques and supports a vibrant nightlife. The area contains the Basque Block, which gives visitors a chance to learn about and enjoy Boise's Basque heritage. Downtown Boise's main attractions include the Idaho State Capitol, the classic Egyptian Theatre on the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Main Street, the Boise Art Museum on Capitol in front of Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise on the grounds of Julia Davis Park. Boise's economy was threatened in the late 1990s by commercial development at locations away from the downtown center, such as Boise Towne Square Mall and at shopping centers near new housing developments.
Cultural events in Dow
The Grand Coulee is an ancient river bed in the U. S. state of Washington. This National Natural Landmark stretches for about 60 miles southwest from Grand Coulee Dam to Soap Lake, being bisected by Dry Falls into the Upper and Lower Grand Coulee; the Grand Coulee is part of the Columbia River Plateau. This area has underlying granite bedrock, formed deep in the Earth's crust 40 to 60 million years ago; the land periodically uplifted and subsided over millions of years giving rise to some small mountains and an inland sea. From about 10 to 18 million years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions from the Grand Ronde Rift, near the Idaho/Oregon/Washington/Montana border began to fill the inland sea with lava. In some places the volcanic basalt is 6,600 feet thick. In other areas granite from the earlier mountains is still exposed. Between two million years ago the Pleistocene epoch, glaciation took place in the area. Large parts of northern North America were covered with glacial ice sheets, at times reaching over 10,000 feet in thickness.
Periodic climate changes resulted in corresponding retreats of ice. About 18,000 years ago a large finger of ice advanced into present-day Idaho, forming an ice dam at what is now Lake Pend Oreille, it blocked the Clark Fork River drainage, thus creating an enormous lake reaching far back into mountain valleys of western Montana. As the lake deepened, the ice began to float. Leaks developed and enlarged, causing the dam to fail; the 500 cubic miles of water in Lake Missoula, were released in just 48 hours—a torrential flood equivalent to ten times the combined flow of all the rivers in the world. This mass of water and ice, towering 2,000 feet thick near the ice dam before release, flowed across the Columbia Basin, moving at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour; the deluge stripped away soil, cut deep canyons and carved out 50 cubic miles of earth, leaving behind areas of stark scabland. Over nearly 2500 years the cycle was repeated many times. Most of the displaced soil created new landforms, but some was carried far out into the Pacific Ocean.
In Oregon's Willamette Valley, as far south as Eugene, the cataclysmic flood waters deposited fertile soil and icebergs left numerous boulders from as far away as Montana and Canada. At present day Portland, the water measured 400 feet deep. A canyon 200 feet deep is carved into the far edge of the continental shelf; the web-like formation can be seen from space. Mountains of gravel as tall as 40-story buildings were left behind. Grooves in the exposed granite bedrock are still visible in the area from the movement of glaciers, numerous erratics are found in the elevated areas to the northwest of the coulee. Early theories suggested that glaciers diverted the Columbia River into what became the Grand Coulee and that normal flows caused the erosion observed. In 1910 Joseph T. Pardee described a great Ice Age lake, "Glacial Lake Missoula", a glacier dammed lake with water up to 1,970 feet deep, in northwest Montana and in 1940 he reported his discovery that giant dunes 50 feet high and 200–500 feet feet apart had formed the lake bed.
In the 1920s J Harlen Bretz looked deeper into the landscape and put forth his theory of the dam breaches and massive glacial floods from Lake Missoula. Of the Channeled Scablands, Dry Falls, one of the largest waterfalls known, is an excellent example, it is probable that humans were witnesses, victims, of the immense power of the Ice Age Floods. Archeological records date human presence back to nearly the end of the Ice Age, but the raging torrents erased the land of clear evidence, leaving us to question who, if anyone, may have survived. With the end of the last glacial advance, the Columbia settled into its present course; the river bed is about 660 feet below the Grand Coulee. Walls of the coulee reach 1,300 feet in height. Grand Coulee is the deepest of eastern Washington canyons, its unique characteristics include a lower floor at the head of the channel than at its outlet and the widest and highest dry falls cliff in the middle. It was created through the process of cataract recession, which included a cataract twice as high as its existing Dry Falls.
Grand Coulee is two canyons, with an open basin in the middle. The Upper Coulee is filled, by Banks Lake, is 25 miles long with walls 800 to 900 feet tall, it links to the Columbia River at Grand Coulee Dam and leads southward, through the surrounding highlands. The entry to the coulee is 650 feet above the Columbia, it began as the course of a Glacial Columbia River. The Wisconsin ice sheets Okanogan lobe extended southward across the Columbia Rivers pathway and onto the southern plateau creating an ice dam; this dam backed up the waters of the Columbia into Glacial Lake Columbia and during the Missoula Floods forced those waters into eastern Washington, creating the Scablands. The river at Grand Coulee found no existing valley and thus forged its own pathway across the divide, creating the Upper Coulee; the plateau is marked with wrinkles and upfolds of the basalt. The diverted waters of the Columbia, encountered the monoclinal flexure, a steep warping up of 1,000 feet toward the northwest. Lake Columbia topped the ridge at the higher side of the flexure.
Encountering the steep slope of the monocline, the new river would have cascaded off the rim, 800 feet down onto a broad plain where Coulee City and Dry Falls State Park now stand. Upper Grand Coulee began; as the rush of water eroded the surface, it steepe
Kennewick is a city in Benton County in the southeastern part of the State of Washington, along the southwest bank of the Columbia River, just southeast of the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers and across from the confluence of the Columbia and the Snake River. It is; the population was 73,917 at the 2010 census. July 1, 2017 estimates from the Census Bureau put the city's population at 81,607; the nearest commercial airport is the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, a regional commercial and private airport. The name "Kennewick" is believed to be a native word meaning "grassy place." It has been called "winter paradise," because of the mild winters in the area. In the past, Kennewick has been known by other names. Legend has it that the strangest was "Tehe,", attributed to the reaction from a native girl's laughter when asked the name of the region. During the 1880s, steamboats and railroads connected what would become known as Kennewick to the other settlements along the Columbia River. In 1887, a temporary railroad bridge was constructed by the Northern Pacific Railroad connecting Kennewick and Pasco.
That bridge could not endure the winter ice on the Columbia and was swept away in the first winter. A new, more permanent bridge was built in its place in 1888; until this time, rail freight from Minneapolis to Tacoma had to cross the Columbia River via ferry. In the 1890s, the Northern Pacific Irrigation Company installed pumps and ditches to bring water for agriculture into the Kennewick Highlands. Once there was a reliable water source and vineyards were developed all over the Kennewick area. Strawberries were another successful crop. Kennewick was incorporated on February 5, 1904. In 1912, there was an unsuccessful bid to move the seat of Benton County from Prosser to Kennewick. In 1915, Kennewick was connected to the Pacific Ocean with the opening of the Dalles-Celilo Canal. In 1943, the United States opened the Hanford nuclear site nine miles northwest of Kennewick, its purpose was to help produce nuclear weaponry, which the US was trying to develop. The plutonium refined there was used in the Fat Man bomb used to attack Nagasaki in 1945 in the decisive final blow of World War II.
Many employees of that site commuted from Kennewick. As the Hanford site's purpose has evolved, there has continually been a tremendous influence from the site on the workforce and economy of Kennewick. In 1963, the Washington State Board Against Discrimination indicted Kennewick for sundown town policies that prevented African Americans from staying in the city at night, forcing them to live in east Pasco instead; the Toyota Center was used as a venue for ice hockey and figure skating during the 1990 Goodwill Games. This international sporting competition was similar to the Olympic Games, but smaller in scale. Most of the events were held in the host city, but other Washington cities like Tacoma and Spokane had venues used for the event. In 1996, an ancient human skeleton was found on a bank of the Columbia River. Known as Kennewick Man, the remains are notable for their age. Ownership of the bones has been a matter of great controversy. After court litigation, a group of researchers were allowed to study the remains and perform various tests and analyses.
They published their results in a book in 2014. A 2015 genetic analysis confirmed that this ancient skeleton was ancestral to Native Americans of the area The genetic analysis has notably contributed to knowledge about the peopling of the Americas. Kennewick lies along the Columbia River and the famous Lewis and Clark Trail marked during the 1804-1806 exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory, reaching to the Pacific Coast; as of 2013, the historical downtown area is undergoing a rebirth. Historic buildings have been adapted to new uses and the compact, pedestrian-oriented area has attracted a diverse mix of businesses; these include a specialty gift boutique in a newly restored building, art galleries, wine bars and local breweries, upscale dining, a full-service hardware center. "Public artwork and recent streetscape improvements create a pleasing pedestrian environment. Through its efforts, the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership is creating new life for the commercial district while working to protect its pioneer heritage and historic buildings."The streets of downtown Kennewick are home to several bronze art sculptures.
Kennewick is the host city of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League and the Tri-City Outlaws of the United States Premier Hockey League. They both play their home games in the Toyota Center; every year during the summer, hydroplane racing takes place at the Water Follies event on the Columbia River. Residents from all of southeastern Washington come to Kennewick to shop in the city's commercial district, the center point of, Columbia Center Mall; every year in August, the Benton-Franklin County Fair is held at the fairgrounds. Kennewick is the site of the annual Titanium Man and Plutonium Man triathlons, attracting international contestants and observers. World Trade Center Memorial Monument:A 9/11 – World Trade Center Memorial Monument is in its Southridge area. Kennewick is one of a few cities to have acquired an external vertical support column artifact salvaged from the World Trade Center. Lampson International worked in conjunction with the City of Kennewick and the Port Authorities of New York and New Jersey to facilitate the m
The Cascade Range or Cascades is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades; the small part of the range in British Columbia is referred to as the Canadian Cascades or, locally, as the Cascade Mountains. The latter term is sometimes used by Washington residents to refer to the Washington section of the Cascades in addition to North Cascades, the more usual U. S. term, as in North Cascades National Park. The highest peak in the range is Mount Rainier in Washington at 14,411 feet; the Cascades are part of the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. All of the eruptions in the contiguous United States over the last 200 years have been from Cascade volcanoes; the two most recent were Lassen Peak from 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.
Minor eruptions of Mount St. Helens have occurred since, most from 2004 to 2008; the Cascade Range is a part of the American Cordillera, a nearly continuous chain of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America. The Cascades extend northward from Lassen Peak in northern California to the confluence of the Nicola and Thompson rivers in British Columbia; the Fraser River separates the Cascades from the Coast Mountains in Canada, as does the Willamette Valley from the upper portion of the Oregon Coast Range. The highest volcanoes of the Cascades, known as the High Cascades, dominate their surroundings standing twice the height of the nearby mountains, they have a visual height of one mile or more. The highest peaks, such as the 14,411-foot Mount Rainier, dominate their surroundings for 50 to 100 miles; the northern part of the range, north of Mount Rainier, is known as the North Cascades in the United States but is formally named the Cascade Mountains north of the Canada–United States border, reaching to the northern extremity of the Cascades at Lytton Mountain.
Overall, the North Cascades and Canadian Cascades are rugged. The southern part of the Canadian Cascades the Skagit Range, is geologically and topographically similar to the North Cascades, while the northern and northeastern parts are less glaciated and more plateau-like, resembling nearby areas of the Thompson Plateau; because of the range's proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the region's prevailing westerly winds, precipitation is substantial on the western slopes due to orographic lift, with annual snow accumulations of up to 1,000 inches in some areas. Mount Baker in Washington recorded a national record single-season snowfall in the winter of 1998–99 with 1,140 inches. Prior to that year, Mount Rainier held the American record for snow accumulation at Paradise in 1978, it is not uncommon for some places in the Cascades to have over 500 inches of annual snow accumulation, such as at Lake Helen, near Lassen Peak. Most of the High Cascades are therefore white with ice year-round; the western slopes are densely covered with Douglas-fir, western hemlock and red alder, while the drier eastern slopes feature ponderosa pine, with some western larch, mountain hemlock and subalpine fir and subalpine larch at higher elevations.
Annual rainfall is as low as 9 inches on the eastern foothills due to a rain shadow effect. Beyond the eastern foothills is an arid plateau, created 17 to 14 million years ago by the many flows of the Columbia River Basalt Group. Together, these sequences of fluid volcanic rock form the 200,000-square-mile Columbia Plateau in eastern Washington and parts of western Idaho; the Columbia River Gorge is the only major break of the range in the United States. When the Cascades began to rise 7 million years ago in the Pliocene, the Columbia River drained the low Columbia Plateau; as the range grew, erosion from the Columbia River was able to keep pace, creating the gorge and major pass seen today. The gorge exposes uplifted and warped layers of basalt from the plateau. Indigenous peoples have inhabited the area for thousands of years and developed their own myths and legends about the Cascades. In these legends, St. Helens with its pre-1980 graceful appearance, was regarded as a beautiful maiden for whom Hood and Adams feuded.
Native tribes developed their own names for the High Cascades and many of the smaller peaks, including "Tahoma", the Lushootseed name for Mount Rainier, "Koma Kulshan" or "Kulshan" for Mount Baker, "Louwala-Clough", meaning "smoking mountain" for Mount St. Helens. In early 1792, British navigator George Vancouver explored Puget Sound and gave English names to the high mountains he saw. Mount Baker was named for Vancouver's third lieutenant, Joseph Baker, although the first European to see it was Manuel Quimper, who named it la gran montaña del Carmelo in 1790. Mount Rainier was named after Admiral Peter Rainier. In 1792, Vancouver had his lieutenant William Robert Broughton explore the lower Columbia River, he named Mount Hood after an admiral of the Royal Navy. Mount St. Helens was sighted by Vancouver from near the mouth of the Columbia River, it was named for Al
Petrified wood is the name given to a special type of fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation. It is the result of a tree or tree-like plants having transitioned to stone by the process of permineralization. All the organic materials have been replaced with minerals, while retaining the original structure of the stem tissue. Unlike other types of fossils which are impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three-dimensional representation of the original organic material; the petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment or volcanic ash and is preserved due to a lack of oxygen which inhibits aerobic decomposition. Mineral-laden water flowing through the covering material deposits minerals in the plant's cells; the organic matter needs to become petrified. The process lasts millions of years. A forest where such material has petrified becomes known as a petrified forest. Elements such as manganese and copper in the water/mud during the petrification process give petrified wood a variety of color ranges.
Pure quartz crystals are colorless, but when contaminants are added to the process the crystals take on a yellow, red, or another tint. Following is a list of contaminating elements and related color hues: carbon – black chromium – green/blue cobalt – green/blue copper – green/blue iron oxides – red and yellow manganese – pink/orange manganese oxides – blackish/yellow silicon dioxide – clear/white/greyPetrified wood can preserve the original structure of the stem in all its detail, down to the microscopic level. Structures such as tree rings and the various tissues are observed features. Petrified wood is a fossil in which the organic remains have been replaced by minerals in the slow process of being replaced with stone; this petrification process results in a quartz chalcedony mineralization. Special rare conditions must be met in order for the fallen stem to be transformed into fossil wood or petrified wood. In general, the fallen plants get buried in an environment free of oxygen, which preserves the original plant structure and general appearance.
The other conditions include a regular access to mineral rich water in contact with the tissues, replacing the organic plant structure with inorganic minerals. The end result is petrified wood, a plant, with its original basic structure in place, replaced by stone. Exotic minerals allow the green hues that can be seen in rarer specimens. Areas with a large number of petrified trees include: Argentina – the Sarmiento Petrified Forest and Jaramillo Petrified Forest in Santa Cruz Province in the Argentine Patagonia have many trees that measure more than 3 m in diameter and 30 m long. Australia -- has deposits of opalised wood. Chinchilla, Queensland is famous for its'Chinchilla Red'. Belgium – Geosite Goudberg near Hoegaarden. Brazil: in the geopark of Paleorrota, there is a vast area with petrified trees. Monumento Natural das Árvores Fossilizadas in Tocantins: petrified forests of dicksoniaceae and arthropitys Petrified forests of dicksoniaceae and arthropitys can be found in the state of São Paulo Floresta Fóssil de Teresina near Rio Poti, Piauí, Permian.
Canada – in the badlands of southern Alberta. Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut has a large petrified forest. In and around the North Saskatchewan river, around the Edmonton area. Blanche Brook, in Stephenville, has 305-million-year-old examples. China – in the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang, northwest China government has issued a crackdown on collecting of this material. Czech Republic, Nová Paka – The most famous locality on Permian–Carboniferous rocks in the Czech Republic. Ecuador – Puyango Petrified Forest – One of the largest collections of petrified wood in the world. Egypt – petrified forest in Cairo-Suez road, declared a national protectorate by the ministry of environment in the area of New Cairo at the Extension of Nasr City, El Qattamiyya, near El Maadi district, Al Farafra oasis. France – petrified forest in the village of Champclauson Georgia – Goderdzi Petrified Forest Natural Monument. Germany – the museum of natural history in Chemnitz has a collection of petrified trees, from the in situ Chemnitz petrified forest, found in the town since 1737.
Greece – Petrified forest of Lesvos, at the western tip of the island of Lesbos, is the largest of the petrified forests, covering an area of over 150 km2 and declared a National Monument in 1985. Large, upright trunks complete with root systems can be found, as well as trunks up to 22 m in length. India – protected geological sites known for petrified wood are the National Fossil Wood Park and the Akal Wood Fossil Park. Petrified wood has been discovered in Dholavira in Kutch, dating back to 187–176 million years. Indonesia – petrified wood covers several area in Banten and in some part of Mount Halimun Salak National Park. Israel – several examples of petrified wood occur in the HaMakhtesh HaGadol in the Negev desert. Italy: Foresta fossile di Dunarobba, petrified forest near Avigliano Umbro, age Piacenzian. Foresta pietrificata di Zuri – Soddì, petrified forest near Soddì, age Chattian–Aquitanian. Libya – Great Sand Sea – Hundreds of s
Columbia Plateau (ecoregion)
The Columbia Plateau ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency encompassing 32,100 square miles of land within the U. S. states of Washington and Idaho. The ecoregion extends across a wide swath of the Columbia River Basin from The Dalles, Oregon to Lewiston, Idaho to Okanogan, Washington near the Canada–US border, it includes nearly 500 miles of the Columbia River, as well as the lower reaches of major tributaries such as the Snake and Yakima rivers and the associated drainage basins. It is named for the Columbia River Plateau, a flood basalt plateau formed by the Columbia River Basalt Group during the late Miocene and early Pliocene; the arid sagebrush steppe and grasslands of the region are flanked by moister, predominantly forested, mountainous ecoregions on all sides. The underlying basalt is up to 2 miles thick and covered by thick loess deposits. Where precipitation amounts are sufficient, the deep loess soils have been extensively cultivated for wheat.
Water from the Columbia River is subject to resource allocation debates involving fisheries, hydropower and irrigation, the Columbia Basin Project has converted much of the region to agricultural use. The Columbia Plateau ecoregion has been subdivided into at least fourteen Level IV ecoregions, as described below; the EPA has not yet published an Ecoregions of Washington poster similar to the informational posters for Oregon and Idaho, the Washington information presented here is not as complete as the information about the other two states. The Channeled Scablands ecoregion contains the coulees and Channeled Scablands of Washington carved out by the cataclysmic Missoula floods, from Wenatchee to Spokane, including public land within the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and Wenatchee National Forest; the Loess Islands ecoregion consists of large pockets of thick loess deposits surrounded by the Channeled Scablands throughout Eastern Washington, including public land within the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and the Juniper Dunes Wilderness.
The Umatilla Plateau ecoregion, named for the Umatilla who inhabited the area, is characterized by a nearly level to rolling, treeless plateau, underlain by basalt and veneered with loess deposits. Elevation varies from 1,000 to 3,200 feet. Glacial features such as patterned ground are common. Areas with thick loess deposits are farmed for irrigated alfalfa and barley. Rangeland dominates more rugged areas where loess deposits are nonexistent. Mean annual precipitation is 9 to 15 increases with elevation. In uncultivated areas, moisture levels are high enough to support grasslands of bluebunch wheatgrass, Sandberg bluegrass, Idaho fescue, without associated sagebrush, more common in the Pleistocene Lake Basins. Stiff sagebrush may be found on shallow soils. Alien cheatgrass covers broad areas; the region covers 3,712 square miles in Eastern Oregon, including the Umatilla Indian Reservation and agricultural areas south of the Columbia River. The Okanogan Drift Hills ecoregion is located in Douglas and Okanogan Counties, including part of the Colville Indian Reservation.
The Pleistocene Lake Basins ecoregion is a nearly level to undulating lake plain that contained vast temporary Pleistocene lakes that were created by flood waters from glacial lakes Missoula and Columbia. In Oregon, the flood waters accumulated from the eastern entrance of the Columbia River Gorge upstream to the Wallula Gap to form ancient Lake Condon. Elevation varies from 300 to 1,200 feet. Today, the region is the driest and warmest part of the Columbia Plateau, with mean annual precipitation varying from 7 to 10 inches. Major irrigation projects provide Columbia River water to the region, allowing the conversion of large areas into agriculture. Where present, native vegetation consists of needle-and-thread, Indian ricegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, Sandberg bluegrass, basin big sagebrush. Alien cheatgrass covers broad areas; the largest of the Columbia Plateau subregions, the Pleistocene Lake Basins covers 1,407 square miles in Eastern Oregon and larger areas in Washington, encompassing lower elevations throughout the Mid-Columbia Basin.
It includes part of the Yakama Indian Reservation, as well as public lands within the Umatilla, Cold Springs, McNary, Columbia national wildlife refuges, the Hanford Nuclear Site, the Hanford Reach National Monument. The Dissected Loess Uplands ecoregion consists of disjunct rolling hills and flat plateau remnants cut by the Lower Snake and Clearwater Canyons. Elevation varies from 1,500 to 3,600 feet. Pure grasslands dominate lower elevations, with bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue, Sandberg bluegrass. Mountain brush grows on north facing higher, moister sites, with snowberry and wild rose. Livestock grazing and farming have eliminated much of the original plant cover; the Dissected Loess Uplands is not as suited to farming as neighboring regions because it has thinner soils. The Dissected Loess Uplands covers 224 square miles in western Idaho and larger areas in southeastern Washington, south of the Snake River between Dayton and Lewiston, including part of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.
The Yakima Folds ecoregion, named for the Yakama people who inhabited the area, consists of unforested anticlinal ridges composed of layer upon layer of basalt many thousands of feet thick. Elevation varies from 1,000 to 3,500 feet. Loess blankets the south-facing supports dryland wheat farming. Steep, rocky north-facing slopes are used f
The Rocky Mountains known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 4,800 kilometers from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west; the Rocky Mountains formed 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began sliding underneath the North American plate. The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a broad belt of mountains running down western North America. Since further tectonic activity and erosion by glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys. At the end of the last ice age, humans began inhabiting the mountain range. After Europeans, such as Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Americans, such as the Lewis and Clark expedition, began exploring the range and furs drove the initial economic exploitation of the mountains, although the range itself never experienced dense population.
Public parks and forest lands protect much of the mountain range, they are popular tourist destinations for hiking, mountaineering, hunting, mountain biking and snowboarding. The name of the mountains is a translation of an Amerindian name, related to Algonquian; the first mention of their present name by a European was in the journal of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1752, where they were called "Montagnes de Roche". The Rocky Mountains are defined as stretching from the Liard River in British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico; the Rockies vary in width from 110 to 480 kilometres. The Rocky Mountains are notable for containing the highest peaks in central North America; the range's highest peak is Mount Elbert located in Colorado at 4,401 metres above sea level. Mount Robson in British Columbia, at 3,954 metres, is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; the eastern edge of the Rockies rises above the Interior Plains of central North America, including the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, the Front Range of Colorado, the Wind River Range and Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, the Absaroka-Beartooth ranges and Rocky Mountain Front of Montana and the Clark Range of Alberta.
The western edge of the Rockies includes ranges such as the Wasatch near Salt Lake City and the Bitterroots along the Idaho-Montana border. The Great Basin and Columbia River Plateau separate these subranges from distinct ranges further to the west. In Canada, the western edge of the Rockies is formed by the huge Rocky Mountain Trench, which runs the length of British Columbia from its beginnings in the middle Flathead River valley in western Montana to the south bank of the Liard River. Geographers define three main groups of the Canadian Rockies: the Continental Ranges, Hart Ranges, Muskwa Ranges; the Rockies do not extend into central British Columbia. Other mountain ranges continue beyond the Liard River, including the Selwyn Mountains in Yukon, the Brooks Range in Alaska, but those are not part of the Rockies, though they are part of the American Cordillera; the Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains and designates the line at which waters flow either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.
Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park is so named because water falling on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific but Hudson Bay as well. Farther north in Alberta, the Athabasca and other rivers feed the basin of the Mackenzie River, which has its outlet on the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. Human population is not dense in the Rocky Mountains, with an average of four people per square kilometer and few cities with over 50,000 people. However, the human population grew in the Rocky Mountain states between 1950 and 1990; the forty-year statewide increases in population range from 35% in Montana to about 150% in Utah and Colorado. The populations of several mountain towns and communities have doubled in the last forty years. Jackson, increased 260%, from 1,244 to 4,472 residents, in forty years; the rocks in the Rocky Mountains were formed. The oldest rock is Precambrian metamorphic rock. There is Precambrian sedimentary argillite, dating back to 1.7 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic, western North America lay underneath a shallow sea, which deposited many kilometers of limestone and dolomite.
In the southern Rocky Mountains, near present-day Colorado, these ancestral rocks were disturbed by mountain building 300 Ma, during the Pennsylvanian. This mountain-building produced the Ancestral Rocky Mountains, they consisted of Precambrian metamorphic rock forced upward through layers of the limestone laid down in the shallow sea. The mountains eroded throughout the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic, leaving extensive deposits of sedimentary rock. Terranes began colliding with the western edge of North America in the Mississippian, causing the Antler orogeny. For 270 million years, the focus of the effects of plate collisions were near the edge of the North American plate boundary, far to the west of the Rocky Mountain region, it was. The current Rocky Mountains arose in the Laramide orogeny from between 55 Ma. For the Canadi