Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
Middle Park (Colorado basin)
Middle Park is a high basin in the Rocky Mountains of north-central Colorado in the United States. It is located in Grand County, on the southwest slope of Rocky Mountain National Park, the basin surrounds the headwaters of the Colorado River on the west side of the Front Range. It extends southwestward from the source of the Colorado at Grand Lake, downstream past Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Parshall and it terminates on the western end roughly where the Colorado passes Gore Canyon at the southern end of the Gore Range. The valley extends into the valleys of side tributaries on the upper Colorado such as the Fraser River, Williams Fork. The valley of the Fraser contains the towns of Fraser and Winter Park, the valley receives its name from being the middle of the three large mountain valleys in Colorado on the western side of the Front Range. The other two are North Park and South Park, U. S. Highway 34 traverses the valley from the northeast to the southwest, and connects to U. S. Highway 40 at Granby.
North Park, to the north, is drained by the North Platte River and separated from the valley by low passes, Muddy Pass. The passes on the east and south, connect to the basin of the South Platte River and they are both in the Front Range proper and thus are higher and more likely to be snow covered. Milner Pass is near the point on Trail Ridge Road and is open only during summer months. Berthoud Pass, at the headwaters of the Fraser south of Winter Park and this latter route is the most direct route between the valley and Denver. The valley contains several reservoirs on the Colorado and its tributaries, including Lake Granby, the main industry in the valley is tourism, including alpine skiing at Winter Park Ski Resort. Much traffic between Denver and the resort of Steamboat Springs passes through the valley as well, allowing for secondary tourism industries to proliferate in the smaller towns
Bear Lake (Colorado)
Bear Lake is a scenic trailhead and destination in Rocky Mountain National Park. Sitting at an elevation of 9,450 feet, the lake rests beneath the sheer flanks of Hallett Peak. Several trails, from easy strolls to strenuous hikes, start from the lake, the Bear Lake Road is open year-round, though it may temporarily close due to adverse weather conditions. An ample parking lot is provided close to the lake, the Bear Lake Road is approximately 10 miles long and starts close to the Beaver Meadows Entrance station of the Rocky Mountains National Park. The lake was formed during the ice age by a glacier, several moraines can be found downhill of Bear Lake. Alpine Visitor Center Scenic drives in Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking info and pictures for Bear Lake, Lake Helene and Odessa Lake
Alpine Visitor Center
It is the highest visitor center in the National Park System. The Alpine Visitor Center includes restrooms, exhibits on the tundra ecosystem, and a gift shop operated by the parks non-profit partner organization. The visitor center opens around Memorial Day and closes around mid-October due to snow, in mid-summer, the visitor center is usually accessible by Old Fall River Road, a 9-mile dirt road open to one-way, uphill vehicle traffic. Views from the Alpine Visitor Center include the Mummy Range, the Fall River Valley, and Trail Ridge to the east, hiking opportunities include the 1/4-mile round-trip Alpine Ridge Trail, commonly referred to as Huffers Hill, and the 8-mile round-trip Ute Trail to Milner Pass. Park Rangers provide park orientation and interpretive programs on the alpine tundra, additional gift and food services at Fall River Pass are provided at the concession-operated Trail Ridge Store and Cafe
Colorado is a state in the United States encompassing most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States, the Southwestern United States, Colorado is the 8th most extensive and the 21st most populous of the 50 United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Colorado was 5,540,545 on July 1,2016, the state was named for the Colorado River, which Spanish travelers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains. The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28,1861, Colorado is nicknamed the Centennial State because it became a state in the same year as the centennial of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is noted for its landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, rivers. Denver is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado, residents of the state are properly known as Coloradans, although the term Coloradoan has been used archaically and lives on in the title of Fort Collins newspaper, the Coloradoan.
Colorado and Utah are the states which have boundaries defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado, Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies entirely above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than one half of the area of Colorado is flat, East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from roughly 3,350 to 7,500 feet. The Colorado plains were mostly prairies, but they have many patches of forests, buttes. Eastern Colorado is presently covered in farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages. Precipitation is fair, averaging from 15 to 25 inches annually, wheat, hay and oats are all typical crops, and most of the villages and towns in this region boast both a water tower and a grain elevator.
Irrigation water is available from the South Platte, the Arkansas River, and a few other streams, heavy use of ground water from wells for irrigation has caused underground water reserves to decline. As well as agriculture, eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as cattle ranches. Roughly 70% of Colorados population resides along the edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado. The Front Range includes Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships, on the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its resources. The organization has four science disciplines, concerning biology, geology. The USGS is a research organization with no regulatory responsibility. The USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior, the USGS employs approximately 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia. The USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, the current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is science for a changing world. The agencys previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its anniversary, was Earth Science in the Public Service. Prompted by a report from the National Academy of Sciences, the USGS was created, by a last-minute amendment and it was charged with the classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.
This task was driven by the need to inventory the vast lands added to the United States by the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the legislation provided that the Hayden and Wheeler surveys be discontinued as of June 30,1879. Clarence King, the first director of USGS, assembled the new organization from disparate regional survey agencies, after a short tenure, King was succeeded in the directors chair by John Wesley Powell. Administratively, it is divided into a Headquarters unit and six Regional Units, Other specific programs include, Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide. The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location, the USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System. The USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, and it maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research.
It conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards, USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time, the USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online, since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. USGS operates a number of related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program. USGS Water data is available from their National Water Information System database
Beatrice Willard Alpine Tundra Research Plots
The Beatrice Willard Alpine Tundra Research Plots were established in 1959 along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, above the treeline in an alpine tundra habitat. The plots were used by Beatrice Willard of the Institute of Arctic, willards dissertation and updates, as well as her book Land Above the Trees, A Guide to American Alpine Tundra were highly influential in studies of alpine and tundra ecology. Her recommendations were used by the National Park Service in its management of the alpine areas of the park. Willards work continued after she moved on to work. The Rock Cut Plot is at an elevation of 12,110 feet near the Rock Cut parking area, the research plot is 5 feet by 20 feet, within a 50-foot by 40-foot enclosure. A3 feet fence keeps park visitors from disturbing the plot, an old footpath runs through the plot, and was monitored to establish rates of regrowth on the tundra. The Forest Canyon Plot is at an elevation of 11,716 feet, measuring only 10 feet square and it is close to the Forest Canyon Overlook.
The plots were placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 25,2007