Grasslands National Park
Grasslands National Park is a Canadian national park located near the village of Val Marie and one of 44 national parks and park reserves in Canada's national park system. This national park is north from the American state of Montana and lies adjacent to the international boundary; the park was established in 1981. Prior to this the province's only national park was Prince Albert National Park. Grasslands National Park represents the Prairie Grasslands natural region, protecting one of the nation's few remaining areas of undisturbed dry mixed-grass/shortgrass prairie grassland; the park is located in the World Wildlife Fund-defined Northern short grasslands ecoregion, which spans much of southern Saskatchewan, southern Alberta, the northern Great Plains states in the USA. The unique landscape and harsh, semi-arid climate provide niches for several adapted plants and animals; the park and surrounding area house the country's only black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Rare and endangered fauna found in the park include bison, greater sage-grouses, burrowing owls, grizzly bears, ferruginous hawks, swift foxes, wolverines, prairie rattlesnakes, black-footed ferrets and greater short-horned lizards.
Flora includes blue grama grass, plains cottonwood and silver sagebrush. Erosion by glacial meltwater formed many of the park's characteristic features. Highlights of the park's geological landscape include the Frenchman River Valley, the Seventy Mile Butte, the badlands of Rock Creek. In 1874, Sir George Mercer Dawson discovered western Canada's first dinosaur remains in the Killdeer Badlands during the International Boundary Survey. In 1877, Sitting Bull took refuge in the area with around 5000 Sioux after the defeat of General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn; the West Block of the park is located one hour south of Swift Current, the main visitor reception centre is located in the town of Val Marie. Highlights of the West Block include the Frenchman River Valley, a herd of over 300 Plains bison as well as prairie dog colonies. A new campground called the Frenchman Valley Campground offers visitors serviced camping sites, teepee camping and a cook shelter. Backcountry camping is available.
The West Block is located in Division No. 4, Saskatchewan. The East Block of the park is about an hour's drive south of Assiniboia near Wood Mountain Regional Park; the interpretive centre is in the McGowan House at the new Rock Creek Campground. The East Block is more of a wilderness area but has views of the badlands of Rock Creek, the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary and prairie skies; the East Block is located in Division No. 3, Saskatchewan. In 2006, Plains bison from Elk Island National Park in Alberta were reintroduced to Grasslands. By 2015 the herd had grown from the original 71 animals to over 300; the herd is maintained on a 181 km2 section in the park's West Block. On October 2, 2009, in a ceremony at Belza House, the park was declared a dark-sky preserve, a small population of black-footed ferrets was reintroduced into the prairie dog towns after a 70-year absence. Improved night-lighting practices under the dark-sky agreement ensure that the park remains dark at night, preserving a natural environment for all nocturnal wildlife.
The park annually receives about 12,000 visitors. Its official name in French is Parc national des Prairies. National Parks of Canada List of National Parks of Canada List of Saskatchewan parks The Prairie Learning Centre "Northern Short Grasslands". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Grasslands National Park - Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri; the river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles, which includes parts of ten U. S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system. For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous bison herds that roamed through the Great Plains; the first Europeans encountered the river in the late seventeenth century, the region passed through Spanish and French hands before becoming part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.
The Missouri River was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. The growth of the fur trade in the early 19th century laid much of the groundwork as trappers explored the region and blazed trails. Pioneers headed west en masse beginning in the 1830s, first by covered wagon by the growing numbers of steamboats that entered service on the river. Settlers took over former Native American lands in the watershed, leading to some of the most longstanding and violent wars against indigenous peoples in American history. During the 20th century, the Missouri River basin was extensively developed for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. Fifteen dams impound the main stem of the river, with hundreds more on tributaries. Meanders have been cut and the river channelized to improve navigation, reducing its length by 200 miles from pre-development times. Although the lower Missouri valley is now a populous and productive agricultural and industrial region, heavy development has taken its toll on wildlife and fish populations as well as water quality.
From the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming, three streams rise to form the headwaters of the Missouri River: the longest begins near Brower's Spring, 9,100 feet above sea level on the southeastern slopes of Mount Jefferson in the Centennial Mountains. From there it flows west north, it passes through Canyon Ferry Lake, a reservoir west of the Big Belt Mountains. Issuing from the mountains near Cascade, the river flows northeast to the city of Great Falls, where it drops over the Great Falls of the Missouri, a series of five substantial waterfalls, it winds east through a scenic region of canyons and badlands known as the Missouri Breaks, receiving the Marias River from the west widening into the Fort Peck Lake reservoir a few miles above the confluence with the Musselshell River. Farther on, the river passes through the Fort Peck Dam, downstream, the Milk River joins from the north. Flowing eastward through the plains of eastern Montana, the Missouri receives the Poplar River from the north before crossing into North Dakota where the Yellowstone River, its greatest tributary by volume, joins from the southwest.
At the confluence, the Yellowstone is the larger river. The Missouri meanders east past Williston and into Lake Sakakawea, the reservoir formed by Garrison Dam. Below the dam the Missouri receives the Knife River from the west and flows south to Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, where the Heart River joins from the west, it slows into the Lake Oahe reservoir just before the Cannonball River confluence. While it continues south reaching Oahe Dam in South Dakota, the Grand and Cheyenne Rivers all join the Missouri from the west; the Missouri makes a bend to the southeast as it winds through the Great Plains, receiving the Niobrara River and many smaller tributaries from the southwest. It proceeds to form the boundary of South Dakota and Nebraska after being joined by the James River from the north, forms the Iowa–Nebraska boundary. At Sioux City the Big Sioux River comes in from the north; the Missouri flows south to the city of Omaha where it receives its longest tributary, the Platte River, from the west.
Downstream, it begins to define the Nebraska–Missouri border flows between Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri swings east at Kansas City, where the Kansas River enters from the west, so on into north-central Missouri. To the east of Kansas City, the Missouri receives, on the left side, the Grand River, it passes south of Columbia and receives the Osage and Gasconade Rivers from the south downstream of Jefferson City. The river rounds the northern side of St. Louis to join the Mississippi River on the border between Missouri and Illinois. With a drainage basin spanning 529,350 square miles, the Missouri River's catchment encompasses nearly one-sixth of the area of the United States or just over five percent of the continent of North America. Comparable to the size of the Canadian province of Quebec, the watershed encompasses most of the central Great Plains, stretching from the Rocky Mountains in the
Batoche, Saskatchewan was the site of the historic Battle of Batoche during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. The battle resulted in the defeat of Louis Riel and his Métis forces by Major General Frederick Middleton and his Northwest Field Force; the Métis settlement of Batoche was established in 1872. By 1885 it numbered 500 people; the Métis of the area settled on river lots, the community contained several stores as well as the Roman Catholic Church of St. Antoine de Padoue at the time of the Rebellion. Batoche was the de facto capital of Riel's Provisional Government of Saskatchewan. Batoche is a Southbranch Settlement, it is situated along the east bank of the South Saskatchewan River between St. Laurent and Fish Creek; this area is part of the aspen parkland biome. This community consisted of Francophones and Roman Catholics. Batoche was declared a National Historic Site in 1923; the visitor centre features a multimedia presentation about the history of the community and its inhabitants. There are several restored buildings with costumed interpreters who depict the lifestyles of the Métis of Batoche between 1860 and 1900.
The sites include a NWMP encampment, a church and rectory complex, a farm home. The sites are set at different locations around the community; the complex is open from mid-May through mid-September. List of communities in Saskatchewan Bell of Batoche North West Resistance Louis Riel Gabriel Dumont Barnholden, Michael.. Circumstances Alter Photographs: Captain James Peters' Reports from the War of 1885. Vancouver, BC: Talonbooks. ISBN 978-0-88922-621-0. Dumont, Gabriel. GABRIEL DUMONT SPEAKS. Talonbooks, 2009. ISBN 978-0-88922-625-8. Payment, Diane p.. The Free People - Li Gens Libres University of Calgary Press. ISBN 978-1-55238-239-4. Batoche National Historic Site of Canada
The Selkirk Concession was a land grant issued by the Hudson's Bay Company to Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, in 1811. The HBC held a commercial monopoly in Rupert's Land, consisting of the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin; the Selkirk Concession known as Selkirk's Grant, included a large section of the southwest area of Rupert's Land, bounded: on the north by the line of 52° N latitude from the Assiniboine River east to Lake Winnipegosis by the line of 52° 30′ N latitude from Lake Winnipegosis to Lake Winnipeg. This covered portions of present-day southern Manitoba, northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, in addition to small parts of eastern Saskatchewan, northwestern Ontario and northeastern South Dakota. Lord Selkirk referred to the area as the District of Assiniboia and planned to create an agricultural colony there. To do so he populated the territory with impoverished people from Scotland and Ireland. Lord Selkirk had been profoundly upset by the poverty his people faced and believed that emigration to Western Canada would be their salvation.
In return he was to provide the Hudson's Bay Company with 200 employees per year, allow for the company to set up trading posts in the colony and to give land for company employees when they retired. In 1812 the first settlers arrived when Miles MacDonell brought a small group of Scots to the colony. While the HBC held the commercial monopoly in Rupert's Land, numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the sovereignty of the area. Furthermore, the HBC was facing competition from the North West Company, which disputed HBC's commercial monopoly. In 1814, the HBC ordered the NWC to leave. Selkirk's settlement known as the Red River Colony, was embroiled in these issues, meeting resistance from fur traders of the NWC as well as from the local Métis population. In November 1815 the newly appointed governor of Red River Colony, Robert Semple, arrived with around 160 new settlers. Tensions continued to rise, culminating in the Battle of Seven Oaks in June 1816; this confrontation involved a force of local Métis and NWC employees led by Cuthbert Grant against a force or Red River settlers and HBC employees led by Governor Semple, with the battle claiming the lives of 1 NWC-related and 21 HBC-related men, including Semple.
By the 1830s agricultural production of flour was over 50,000 pounds, with over 1,000 settlers residing at the colony. The promise of free land ensured. By the 1850s the Hudson's Bay Company lost interest in providing financial aid to the colony. In 1867, the United Kingdom had passed the British North America Act, creating the Dominion of Canada from British holdings in the eastern portion of British North America. In 1869 the HBC "sold" Rupert's Land to the expanding Canada. A lack of attention to concerns of the existing Red River settlers, Métis, aboriginal groups caused Métis leader Louis Riel to establish a local provisional government to negotiate the political treatment of the local population in the handover to Canada, resulting in the Red River Rebellion of 1869-70 and Canada agreeing to create the province of Manitoba – on land, part of the Selkirk Concession – in 1870
An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental and polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Earth is in the Quaternary glaciation, known in popular terminology as the Ice Age. Individual pulses of cold climate are termed "glacial periods", intermittent warm periods are called "interglacials", with both climatic pulses part of the Quaternary or other periods in Earth's history. In the terminology of glaciology, ice age implies the presence of extensive ice sheets in both northern and southern hemispheres. By this definition, we are in an interglacial period—the Holocene; the amount of heat trapping gases emitted into Earth's Oceans and atmosphere will prevent the next ice age, which otherwise would begin in around 50,000 years, more glacial cycles. In 1742, Pierre Martel, an engineer and geographer living in Geneva, visited the valley of Chamonix in the Alps of Savoy. Two years he published an account of his journey.
He reported that the inhabitants of that valley attributed the dispersal of erratic boulders to the glaciers, saying that they had once extended much farther. Similar explanations were reported from other regions of the Alps. In 1815 the carpenter and chamois hunter Jean-Pierre Perraudin explained erratic boulders in the Val de Bagnes in the Swiss canton of Valais as being due to glaciers extending further. An unknown woodcutter from Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland advocated a similar idea in a discussion with the Swiss-German geologist Jean de Charpentier in 1834. Comparable explanations are known from the Val de Ferret in the Valais and the Seeland in western Switzerland and in Goethe's scientific work; such explanations could be found in other parts of the world. When the Bavarian naturalist Ernst von Bibra visited the Chilean Andes in 1849–1850, the natives attributed fossil moraines to the former action of glaciers. Meanwhile, European scholars had begun to wonder. From the middle of the 18th century, some discussed ice as a means of transport.
The Swedish mining expert Daniel Tilas was, in 1742, the first person to suggest drifting sea ice in order to explain the presence of erratic boulders in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. In 1795, the Scottish philosopher and gentleman naturalist, James Hutton, explained erratic boulders in the Alps by the action of glaciers. Two decades in 1818, the Swedish botanist Göran Wahlenberg published his theory of a glaciation of the Scandinavian peninsula, he regarded glaciation as a regional phenomenon. Only a few years the Danish-Norwegian geologist Jens Esmark argued a sequence of worldwide ice ages. In a paper published in 1824, Esmark proposed changes in climate as the cause of those glaciations, he attempted to show. During the following years, Esmark's ideas were discussed and taken over in parts by Swedish and German scientists. At the University of Edinburgh Robert Jameson seemed to be open to Esmark's ideas, as reviewed by Norwegian professor of glaciology Bjørn G. Andersen. Jameson's remarks about ancient glaciers in Scotland were most prompted by Esmark.
In Germany, Albrecht Reinhard Bernhardi, a geologist and professor of forestry at an academy in Dreissigacker, since incorporated in the southern Thuringian city of Meiningen, adopted Esmark's theory. In a paper published in 1832, Bernhardi speculated about former polar ice caps reaching as far as the temperate zones of the globe. In 1829, independently of these debates, the Swiss civil engineer Ignaz Venetz explained the dispersal of erratic boulders in the Alps, the nearby Jura Mountains, the North German Plain as being due to huge glaciers; when he read his paper before the Schweizerische Naturforschende Gesellschaft, most scientists remained sceptical. Venetz convinced his friend Jean de Charpentier. De Charpentier transformed Venetz's idea into a theory with a glaciation limited to the Alps, his thoughts resembled Wahlenberg's theory. In fact, both men shared the same volcanistic, or in de Charpentier's case rather plutonistic assumptions, about the Earth's history. In 1834, de Charpentier presented his paper before the Schweizerische Naturforschende Gesellschaft.
In the meantime, the German botanist Karl Friedrich Schimper was studying mosses which were growing on erratic boulders in the alpine upland of Bavaria. He began to wonder. During the summer of 1835 he made some excursions to the Bavarian Alps. Schimper came to the conclusion that ice must have been the means of transport for the boulders in the alpine upland. In the winter of 1835 to 1836 he held. Schimper assumed that there must have been global times of obliteration with a cold climate and frozen water. Schimper spent the summer months of 1836 at Devens, near Bex, in the Swiss Alps with his former university friend Louis Agassiz and Jean de Charpentier. Schimper, de Charpentier and Venetz convinced Agassiz that there had been a time of glaciation. During the winter of 1836/37, Agassiz and Schimper developed the theory of a sequence of glaciations, they drew upon the preceding works of Venetz, de Charpentier and on their own fieldwork. Agassiz appears to have been familiar with Bernhardi's paper at that time.
At the beginning of 1837, Schimper coined the term "ice age" for the period of the glaciers. In July 1837 Ag
Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, the processes by which they change over time. Geology can include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology overlaps all other earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science. Geology describes the structure of the Earth on and beneath its surface, the processes that have shaped that structure, it provides tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of rocks found in a given location, to describe the histories of those rocks. By combining these tools, geologists are able to chronicle the geological history of the Earth as a whole, to demonstrate the age of the Earth. Geology provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, the Earth's past climates. Geologists use a wide variety of methods to understand the Earth's structure and evolution, including field work, rock description, geophysical techniques, chemical analysis, physical experiments, numerical modelling.
In practical terms, geology is important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, evaluating water resources, understanding of natural hazards, the remediation of environmental problems, providing insights into past climate change. Geology is a major academic discipline, it plays an important role in geotechnical engineering; the majority of geological data comes from research on solid Earth materials. These fall into one of two categories: rock and unlithified material; the majority of research in geology is associated with the study of rock, as rock provides the primary record of the majority of the geologic history of the Earth. There are three major types of rock: igneous and metamorphic; the rock cycle illustrates the relationships among them. When a rock solidifies or crystallizes from melt, it is an igneous rock; this rock can be weathered and eroded redeposited and lithified into a sedimentary rock. It can be turned into a metamorphic rock by heat and pressure that change its mineral content, resulting in a characteristic fabric.
All three types may melt again, when this happens, new magma is formed, from which an igneous rock may once more solidify. To study all three types of rock, geologists evaluate the minerals; each mineral has distinct physical properties, there are many tests to determine each of them. The specimens can be tested for: Luster: Measurement of the amount of light reflected from the surface. Luster is broken into nonmetallic. Color: Minerals are grouped by their color. Diagnostic but impurities can change a mineral’s color. Streak: Performed by scratching the sample on a porcelain plate; the color of the streak can help name the mineral. Hardness: The resistance of a mineral to scratch. Breakage pattern: A mineral can either show fracture or cleavage, the former being breakage of uneven surfaces and the latter a breakage along spaced parallel planes. Specific gravity: the weight of a specific volume of a mineral. Effervescence: Involves dripping hydrochloric acid on the mineral to test for fizzing. Magnetism: Involves using a magnet to test for magnetism.
Taste: Minerals can have a distinctive taste, like halite. Smell: Minerals can have a distinctive odor. For example, sulfur smells like rotten eggs. Geologists study unlithified materials, which come from more recent deposits; these materials are superficial deposits. This study is known as Quaternary geology, after the Quaternary period of geologic history. However, unlithified material does not only include sediments. Magmas and lavas are the original unlithified source of all igneous rocks; the active flow of molten rock is studied in volcanology, igneous petrology aims to determine the history of igneous rocks from their final crystallization to their original molten source. In the 1960s, it was discovered that the Earth's lithosphere, which includes the crust and rigid uppermost portion of the upper mantle, is separated into tectonic plates that move across the plastically deforming, upper mantle, called the asthenosphere; this theory is supported by several types of observations, including seafloor spreading and the global distribution of mountain terrain and seismicity.
There is an intimate coupling between the movement of the plates on the surface and the convection of the mantle. Thus, oceanic plates and the adjoining mantle convection currents always move in the same direction – because the oceanic lithosphere is the rigid upper thermal boundary layer of the convecting mantle; this coupling between rigid plates moving on the surface of the Earth and the convecting mantle is called plate tectonics. The development of plate tectonics has provided a physical basis for many observations of the solid Earth. Long linear regions of geologic features are explained as plate boundaries. For example: Mid-ocean ridges, high regions on the seafloor where hydrothermal vents and volcanoes exist, are seen as divergent boundaries, where two plates move apart. Arcs of volcanoes and earthquakes are theorized as convergent boundaries, where one plate subducts, or moves, under another. Transform boundaries, such as the San Andreas Fault system, resulted in widespread powerful earthquakes.
Plate tectonics has provided a mechan