Shrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterised by vegetation dominated by shrubs also including grasses and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur or be the result of human activity, it may be the mature vegetation type in a particular region and remain stable over time, or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance, such as fire. A stable state may be maintained by regular natural disturbance such as browsing. Shrubland may be unsuitable for human habitation because of the danger of fire; the term "shrubland" was coined in 1903. Shrubland species show a wide range of adaptations to fire, such as heavy seed production and fire-induced germination. In botany and ecology a shrub is defined as a much-branched woody plant less than 8 m high and with many stems. Tall shrubs are 2–8 m high, small shrubs 1–2 m high and subshrubs less than 1 m high. A descriptive system adopted in Australia to describe different types of vegetation is based on structural characteristics based on plant life-form, plus the height and foliage cover of the tallest stratum or dominant species.
For shrubs 2–8 m high the following structural forms result: dense foliage cover — closed-scrub mid-dense foliage cover — open- sparse foliage cover — tall open shrublandFor shrubs <2 m high the following structural forms result: dense foliage cover — closed-heath mid-dense foliage cover — open-heath sparse foliage cover — low shrubland sparse foliage cover — low open shrubland Similarly, shrubland is a category used to describe a type of biome plant group. In this context, shrublands are dense thickets of evergreen sclerophyll shrubs and small trees, called: Chaparral in California Matorral in Chile and Spain Maquis in France and elsewhere around the Mediterranean Macchia in Italy Fynbos in South Africa Kwongan in Southwest Australia Cedar scrub in Texas Hill CountryIn some places shrubland is the mature vegetation type, in other places the result of degradation of former forest or woodland by logging or overgrazing, or disturbance by major fires. A number of World Wildlife Fund biomes are characterized as shrublands, including: Desert scrublands Xeric or desert scrublands occur in the world's deserts and xeric shrublands ecoregions, or in areas of fast-draining sandy soils in more humid regions.
These scrublands are characterized by plants with adaptations to the dry climate, which include small leaves to limit water loss, thorns to protect them from grazing animals, succulent leaves or stems, storage organs to store water, long taproots to reach groundwater. Mediterranean scrublandsMediterranean scrublands occur in the Mediterranean forests and scrub biomes, located in the five Mediterranean climate regions of the world. Scrublands are most common near the seacoast, have adapted to the wind and salt air of the ocean. Low, soft-leaved scrublands around the Mediterranean Basin are known as garrigue in France, phrygana in Greece, tomillares in Spain, batha in Israel. Northern coastal scrub and coastal sage scrub occur along the California coast, strandveld in the Western Cape of South Africa, coastal matorral in central Chile, sand-heath and kwongan in Southwest Australia. Interior scrublandsInterior scrublands occur in semi-arid areas where soils are nutrient-poor, such as on the matas of Portugal which are underlain by Cambrian and Silurian schists.
Florida scrub is another example of interior scrublands. Dwarf shrubs Some vegetation types are formed of dwarf-shrubs: creeping shrubs; these include the maquis and garrigues of Mediterranean climates, the acid-loving dwarf shrubs of heathland and moorland. Fynbos Maquis Prostrate shrub Semi-desert Shrub-steppe Shrub swamp Moorland
Opuntia called prickly pear, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae. Prickly pears are known as tuna, nopal from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; the genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew and could be propagated by rooting its leaves. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia. O. ficus-indica is a large trunk-forming segmented cactus which may grow to 5–7 metres with a crown of 3 metres in diameter and a trunk diameter of 1 metre. Cladodes may be spineless. Prickly pears grow with flat, rounded cladodes containing large, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids that adhere to skin or hair detach from the plant; the flowers are large, solitary and epiperigynous, with a perianth consisting of distinct, spirally arranged tepals and a hypanthium. The stamens are numerous and in spiral or whorled clusters, the gynoecium has numerous inferior ovaries per carpel.
Placentation is parietal, the fruit is a berry with arillate seeds. Prickly pear species can vary in habit. O. ficus-indica thrives in regions with mild winters having a prolonged dry spell followed by hot summers with occasional rain and low humidity. A mean annual rainfall of 350–500 millimetres provides good growth rates. O. ficus-indica proliferates in various soils ranging from sub-acid to sub-alkaline, with clay content not exceeding 15-20% and the soil well-drained. The shallow root system enables the plant to grow in shallow, loose soils, such as on mountain slopes. Opuntia spreads into large clonal colonies, which contribute to its being considered a noxious weed in some places. Animals that eat Opuntia include Cyclura rock iguanas; the fruit are relished by many arid land animals, chiefly birds, which thus help distribute the seeds. Opuntia pathogens include the sac fungus Sammons' Opuntia virus; the ant Crematogaster opuntiae and the spider Theridion opuntia are named because of their association with prickly pear cacti.
Like most true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Americas. Through human actions, they have since been introduced to many other areas of the world. Prickly pear species are found in abundance in Mexico in the central and western regions, in the Caribbean islands. In the United States, prickly pears are native to many areas of the arid, semi-arid, drought-prone Western and South Central United States, including the lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains and southern Great Plains, where species such as Opuntia phaeacantha and Opuntia polyacantha become dominant, to the desert Southwest, where several types are endemic. Prickly pear cactus is native to sandy coastal beach scrub environments of the East Coast from Florida to southern Connecticut. Opuntia species are the most cold-tolerant of the lowland cacti, extending into western and southern Canada. Prickly pears produce a fruit eaten in Mexico and in the Mediterranean region, known as tuna; the fruit can be wine-red, green, or yellow-orange.
In the Galápagos Islands, six different species are found: O. echios, O. galapageia, O. helleri, O. insularis, O. saxicola, O. megasperma. These species are divided into 14 different varieties. For this reason, they have been described as "an excellent example of adaptive radiation". On the whole, islands with tall, trunked varieties have giant tortoises, islands lacking tortoises have low or prostrate forms of Opuntia. Prickly pears are a prime source of food for the common giant tortoises in the Galápagos islands so they are important in the food web. Charles Darwin was the first to note that these cacti have thigmotactic anthers: when the anthers are touched, they curl over, depositing their pollen; this movement can be seen by poking the anthers of an open Opuntia flower. The same trait has evolved convergently in other cacti; the first introduction of prickly pears into Australia is ascribed to Governor Philip and the earliest colonists in 1788. Brought from Brazil to Sydney, prickly pear grew in Sydney, New South Wales, where they were rediscovered in a farmer's garden in 1839.
They appear to have spread from New South Wales and caused great ecological damage in the eastern states. They are found in the Mediterranean region of Northern Africa in Tunisia, where they grow all over the countryside, in parts of southern Europe Spain, where they grow in the east, south-east and south of the country, in Malta, where they grow all over the islands, they can be found in enormous numbers in parts of South Africa, where they were introduced from South America. Prickly pears are considered an invasive species in Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, among other locations. Prickly pears were imported into Europe during the 1500s and Australia in the 18th century for gardens, were used as a natural agricultural fencing and in an attempt to establish a cochineal dye industry. They
Montana is a landlocked state in the Northwestern United States. Montana has several nicknames, although none are official, including "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more "The Last Best Place". Montana is the 4th largest in area, the 8th least populous, the 3rd least densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. The western half of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In all, 77 named; the eastern half of Montana is characterized by badlands. Montana is bordered by Idaho to the west, Wyoming to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan to the north; the economy is based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic resources include oil, coal, hard rock mining, lumber; the health care and government sectors are significant to the state's economy. The state's fastest-growing sector is tourism.
Nearly 13 million tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Beartooth Highway, Flathead Lake, Big Sky Resort, other attractions. The name Montana comes from the Spanish word Montaña, which in turn comes from the Latin word Montanea, meaning "mountain", or more broadly, "mountainous country". Montaña del Norte was the name given by early Spanish explorers to the entire mountainous region of the west; the name Montana was added to a bill by the United States House Committee on Territories, chaired at the time by Rep. James Ashley of Ohio, for the territory that would become Idaho Territory; the name was changed by Representatives Henry Wilson and Benjamin F. Harding, who complained Montana had "no meaning"; when Ashley presented a bill to establish a temporary government in 1864 for a new territory to be carved out of Idaho, he again chose Montana Territory. This time Rep. Samuel Cox of Ohio, objected to the name. Cox complained the name was a misnomer given most of the territory was not mountainous and that a Native American name would be more appropriate than a Spanish one.
Other names such as Shoshone were suggested, but it was decided the Committee on Territories could name it whatever they wanted, so the original name of Montana was adopted. Montana is one of the nine Mountain States, located in the north of the region known as the Western United States, it borders North South Dakota to the east. Wyoming is to the south, Idaho is to the west and southwest, three Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, are to the north. With an area of 147,040 square miles, Montana is larger than Japan, it is the fourth largest state in the United States after Alaska and California. S. state. The state's topography is defined by the Continental Divide, which splits much of the state into distinct eastern and western regions. Most of Montana's 100 or more named mountain ranges are in the state's western half, most of, geologically and geographically part of the Northern Rocky Mountains; the Absaroka and Beartooth ranges in the state's south-central part are technically part of the Central Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountain Front is a significant feature in the state's north-central portion, isolated island ranges that interrupt the prairie landscape common in the central and eastern parts of the state. About 60 percent of the state is part of the northern Great Plains; the Bitterroot Mountains—one of the longest continuous ranges in the Rocky Mountain chain from Alaska to Mexico—along with smaller ranges, including the Coeur d'Alene Mountains and the Cabinet Mountains, divide the state from Idaho. The southern third of the Bitterroot range blends into the Continental Divide. Other major mountain ranges west of the Divide include the Cabinet Mountains, the Anaconda Range, the Missions, the Garnet Range, Sapphire Mountains, Flint Creek Range; the Divide's northern section, where the mountains give way to prairie, is part of the Rocky Mountain Front. The front is most pronounced in the Lewis Range, located in Glacier National Park. Due to the configuration of mountain ranges in Glacier National Park, the Northern Divide crosses this region and turns east in Montana at Triple Divide Peak.
It causes the Waterton River and Saint Mary rivers to flow north into Alberta, Canada. There they join the Saskatchewan River, which empties into Hudson Bay. East of the divide, several parallel ranges cover the state's southern part, including the Gravelly Range, the Madison Range, Gallatin Range, Absaroka Mountains and the Beartooth Mountains; the Beartooth Plateau is the largest continuous land mass over 10,000 feet high in the continental United States. It contains Granite Peak, 12,799 feet high. North of these ranges are the Big Belt Mountains, Bridger Mountains, Tobacco Roots, several island ranges, including the Crazy Mountains and Little Belt Mountains. Between many mountain ranges are rich river valleys; the Big Hole Valley, Bitterroot Valley, Gallatin Valley, Flathead Valley, Paradise Valley have extensive agricultural resources and multiple opportunities for tourism and recreation. East and north of this transition zone are the expansive and sparsely populated Northern Plains, with tableland prairies, smaller island mountain ranges, badlands.
The isolated island ranges east of the Divide include the Bear Paw Mountains, Bull Mountains, Castle Mountains, Crazy Mountains, Highwood Mountains, Judi
Natural gas is a occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane, but including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years; the energy that the plants obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas. Natural gas is a occurring hydrocarbon used as a source of energy for heating and electricity generation, it is used as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. Natural gas is called a non-renewable resource. Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Petroleum is another fossil fuel found in close proximity to and with natural gas. Most natural gas was created over time by two mechanisms: thermogenic.
Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs and shallow sediments. Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material. In petroleum production gas is burnt as flare gas; the World Bank estimates that over 150 cubic kilometers of natural gas are flared or vented annually. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, but not all, must be processed to remove impurities, including water, to meet the specifications of marketable natural gas; the by-products of this processing include: ethane, butanes and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, water vapor, sometimes helium and nitrogen. Natural gas is informally referred to as "gas" when compared to other energy sources such as oil or coal. However, it is not to be confused with gasoline in North America, where the term gasoline is shortened in colloquial usage to gas. Natural gas was discovered accidentally in ancient China, as it resulted from the drilling for brines.
Natural gas was first used by the Chinese in about 500 BCE. They discovered a way to transport gas seeping from the ground in crude pipelines of bamboo to where it was used to boil salt water to extract the salt, in the Ziliujing District of Sichuan; the discovery and identification of natural gas in the Americas happened in 1626. In 1821, William Hart dug the first natural gas well at Fredonia, New York, United States, which led to the formation of the Fredonia Gas Light Company; the state of Philadelphia created the first municipally owned natural gas distribution venture in 1836. By 2009, 66 000 km³ had been used out of the total 850 000 km³ of estimated remaining recoverable reserves of natural gas. Based on an estimated 2015 world consumption rate of about 3400 km³ of gas per year, the total estimated remaining economically recoverable reserves of natural gas would last 250 years at current consumption rates. An annual increase in usage of 2–3% could result in recoverable reserves lasting less as few as 80 to 100 years.
In the 19th century, natural gas was obtained as a by-product of producing oil, since the small, light gas carbon chains came out of solution as the extracted fluids underwent pressure reduction from the reservoir to the surface, similar to uncapping a soft drink bottle where the carbon dioxide effervesces. Unwanted natural gas was a disposal problem in the active oil fields. If there was not a market for natural gas near the wellhead it was prohibitively expensive to pipe to the end user. In the 19th century and early 20th century, unwanted gas was burned off at oil fields. Today, unwanted gas associated with oil extraction is returned to the reservoir with'injection' wells while awaiting a possible future market or to repressurize the formation, which can enhance extraction rates from other wells. In regions with a high natural gas demand, pipelines are constructed when it is economically feasible to transport gas from a wellsite to an end consumer. In addition to transporting gas via pipelines for use in power generation, other end uses for natural gas include export as liquefied natural gas or conversion of natural gas into other liquid products via gas to liquids technologies.
GTL technologies can convert natural gas into liquids products such as diesel or jet fuel. A variety of GTL technologies have been developed, including Fischer–Tropsch, methanol to gasoline and syngas to gasoline plus. F–T produces a synthetic crude that can be further refined into finished products, while MTG can produce synthetic gasoline from natural gas. STG+ can produce drop-in gasoline, jet fuel and aromatic chemicals directly from natural gas via a single-loop process. In 2011, Royal Dutch Shell's 140,000 barrels per day F–T plant went into operation in Qatar. Natural gas can be "associated", or "non-associated", is found in coal beds, it sometimes contains a significant amount of ethane, propane and pentane—heavier hydrocarbons removed for commercial use prior to the methane being sold as a consumer fuel or chemical plant feedstock. Non-hydrocarbons such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide must be removed before the natural gas can be transported. Natural gas extracted from oil wells is called casinghead gas (whether or not produced up the a
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
West Texas is a loosely defined part of the U. S. state of Texas encompassing the arid and semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls and Del Rio. There is no consensus on the boundary between West Texas. While most Texans understand these terms, no boundaries are recognized and any two individuals are to describe the boundaries of these regions differently. Walter Prescott Webb, the American historian and geographer, suggested that the 98th meridian separates East and West Texas. C. Greene proposed. West Texas is subdivided according to distinct physiographic features; the portion of West Texas that lies west of the Pecos River is referred to as "Far West Texas" or the "Trans-Pecos", a term first introduced in 1887 by Texas geologist Robert T. Hill; the Trans-Pecos lies within the most arid portion of the state. Another part of West Texas is the Llano Estacado, a vast region of high, level plains extending into Eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. To the east of the Llano Estacado lies the “redbed country” of the Rolling Plains and to the south of the Llano Estacado lies the Edwards Plateau.
The Rolling Plains and the Edwards Plateau subregions act as transitional zones between eastern and western Texas. The counties included in the West Texas region vary depending on the organization; the Texas Counties.net website acknowledges the variations, includes 70 counties in its definition, based on the five principal metropolitan areas it contains: El Paso, Abilene, Midland/Odessa, San Angelo. The counties included are Andrews, Borden, Brown, Castro, Coke, Comanche, Crane, Crosby, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Eastland, Ector, El Paso, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kent, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Martin, Mason, McCulloch, Midland, Motley, Parmer, Pecos, Randall, Reeves, Schleicher, Shackelford, Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Val Verde, Ward and Yoakum; some of the smaller West Texas cities and towns include: Alpine, Anthony, Canutillo, Crane, Fort Davis, Fort Bliss, San Elizario, Fort Stockton, Hale Center, Kermit, Levelland, Marathon, Marfa, McCamey, Monahans, Pampa, Horizon City, Rankin, Slaton, Snyder and Van Horn.
West Texas receives much less rainfall than the rest of Texas and has an arid or semiarid climate, requiring most of its scant agriculture to be dependent on irrigation. This irrigation, water taken out farther north for the needs of El Paso and Juarez, has reduced the once mighty Rio Grande to a stream in some places dry at times. Much of West Texas has rugged terrain, including many small mountain ranges while there are none in other parts of the state. Except for the Trans-Pecos region, West Texas has become well known as a stronghold for conservative politics; some of the most Republican counties in the United States are located in the region. Former U. S. President George W. Bush spent most of his childhood in West Texas; the Panhandle and several counties in or west of Midland were one of the first areas of Texas to abandon the state’s “Solid South” Democratic roots. The Rolling Plains to the east remained Democratic for longer: Walter Mondale in 1984 when losing Texas by 27.50 percentage points carried five counties in this region.
However, since 2000 this region has swung rapidly towards the Republican Party due to its population’s intransigent opposition to the liberal social policies of the Democratic Party and by 2016 has become nearly so Republican as the Panhandle. Major industries include livestock and natural gas production, textiles such as cotton, and, because of large military installations such as Fort Bliss, the defense industry. West Texas has become notable for its numerous wind turbines producing clean, alternative electricity; as of 2018, the West Texan economy is in an economic period, described as the "West Texas oil boom". West Texas does not have major league sports teams. Instead the region has college teams such as Texas Tech Red Raiders and UTEP Miners, which play in NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II teams of the West Texas A&M Buffaloes, the Texas–Permian Basin Falcons, the Lubbock Christian Chaparrals and Lady Chaps. El Paso hosts the El Paso Chihuahuas, a AAA baseball team and Midland hosts the Midland RockHounds, a Double-A baseball team.
Oddly in the heat ravaged climate of West Texas, the winter sport of ice hockey can be found in the city of Odessa through a Tier II junior ice hockey team playing out of the North American Hockey League called the Odessa Jackalopes. In 2019, The San Antonio Missions will move to continue play at the Double-A level. "West of the Pecos" has become a metaphor for the universe of westerns. "Fastest draw west of the Pecos" and similar superlatives are a cliche, the title character of Chisum observed ”There’s no law west of Dodge, no God west of the Pecos”. See West of the Pecos. Photos of West Texas West Texas Vacation Guide - Texas Outside
The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U. S. and Canada. It embraces: The entirety of the U. S. states of Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota Parts of the states of Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming The southern portions of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and SaskatchewanThe region is known for supporting extensive cattle ranching and dry farming. The Canadian portion of the Plains is known as the Prairies, it covers much of Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, a narrow band of southern Manitoba. Despite covering a small geographic area, the Prairies are home to the majority of each of the three provinces' respective populations; the term "Great Plains" is used in the United States to describe a sub-section of the more vast Interior Plains physiographic division, which covers much of the interior of North America.
It has currency as a region of human geography, referring to the Plains Indians or the Plains States. In Canada the term is little used. There is no region referred to as the "Great Plains" in The Atlas of Canada. In terms of human geography, the term prairie is more used in Canada, the region is known as the Prairie Provinces or "the Prairies." The North American Environmental Atlas, produced by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a NAFTA agency composed of the geographical agencies of the Mexican and Canadian governments, uses the "Great Plains" as an ecoregion synonymous with predominant prairies and grasslands rather than as physiographic region defined by topography. The Great Plains ecoregion includes five sub-regions: Temperate Prairies, West-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, South-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, Texas Louisiana Coastal Plains, Tamaulipas-Texas Semi-Arid Plain, which overlap or expand upon other Great Plains designations; the region is about 500 mi east to 2,000 mi north to south.
Much of the region was home to American bison herds until they were hunted to near extinction during the mid/late-19th century. It has an area of 500,000 sq mi. Current thinking regarding the geographic boundaries of the Great Plains is shown by this map at the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; the term "Great Plains", for the region west of about the 96th and east of the Rocky Mountains, was not used before the early 20th century. Nevin Fenneman's 1916 study Physiographic Subdivision of the United States brought the term Great Plains into more widespread usage. Before that the region was invariably called the High Plains, in contrast to the lower Prairie Plains of the Midwestern states. Today the term "High Plains" is used for a subregion of the Great Plains; the Great Plains are the westernmost portion of the vast North American Interior Plains, which extend east to the Appalachian Plateau. The United States Geological Survey divides the Great Plains in the United States into ten physiographic subdivisions: Coteau du Missouri or Missouri Plateau, glaciated – east central South Dakota and eastern North Dakota and northeastern Montana.
The Great Plains consist of a broad stretch of country underlain by nearly horizontal strata extends westward from the 97th meridian west to the base of the Rocky Mountains, a distance of from 300 to 500 miles. It extends northward from the Mexican boundary far into Canada. Although the altitude of the plains increases from 600 or 1,200 ft on the east to 4,000–5,000 or 6,000 feet near the mountains, the local relief is small; the semi-arid climate opens far-reaching views. The plains are by no means a simple unit, they are of various stages of erosional development. They are interrupted by buttes and escarpments, they are broken by valleys. Yet on the whole, a broadly extended surface of moderate relief so prevails that the name, Great Plains, for the region as a whole is well-deserved; the western boundary of the plains is well-defined by the abrupt ascent of the mountains. The eastern boundary of the plains is more climatic than topographic; the line of 20 in. of annual rainfall trends a little east of northward near the 97th meridian.
If a boundary must be drawn where nature presents only a gradual transition, this rainfall line may be taken to divide the drier plains from the moister prairies. The plains may be described in northern, intermediate and southern sections, in relation to certain peculiar features; the northern section of the Great Plains, north of latitude 44°, including eastern Montana, north-eastern Wyomi