Within the last decade, artists and designers began to flock to this wide-open landscape three hours south of El Paso, opening galleries, hotels, and shops, but not without compromising the swathes of nature and iconic buildings like the Italianate-style Presidio County Courthouse, built in This darling Dutchess County village along the Hudson River affords views of the Catskill Mountains, plus it has a vibrant indie-shopping scene in its downtown.
An observation tower in the acre Ferncliff Forest is a favorite hiking spot with a view. It also boasts three historic districts. When you think of a quaint Southern town with magnolia trees and antebellum homes, Madison—60 miles east of Atlanta—is just that. Lots of antiques shopping, along with hikes through Brown County State Park, provide visual stimulation.
Four gorgeous alfresco hot springs are nearby and open for soaking. Mature magnolia trees create a canopy in this small town along the Magnolia River where mail is still delivered by boat. Near both Juneau and the Tongass National Forest, and in a mecca for world-class king salmon and halibut fishing, Sitka boasts 22 buildings and sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
Skiers and mountain bikers love this tiny town but so do spa and dining enthusiasts, who can be kept busy for days thanks to resorts like the Westin Snowmass Resort and Viceroy Snowmass.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center is an enclave for artists through its artist-in-residence program and hosted workshops, programs, and events. Skiing—both Nordic and downhill—is a huge draw. Historic buildings dating as far back as the late s line the streets of the tiny, artsy downtown of Eureka Springs, tucked into the Ozark Mountains. The entire downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sugar-white sands along the Pacific Ocean—with a shoreline of stunning cliffs and wispy cypress trees—and a Spanish Mission—style downtown anchor this community, which is tucked into a wine region Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are the main thrust. Actor Clint Eastwood is a former mayor. Brightly colored cottages are a short walk to the downtown, with Airstream food trucks, an indie bookstore, art galleries, and seafood eateries. Its outdoor activities year-round ranging from fly fishing to cross-country skiing, this resort town home to quite a few wellness properties on the southern shore of Payette Lake also hosts an annual Winter Carnival and, in , launched its first sled-dog race.
Long a playground for presidential families such as the Bushes and the Kennedys, this coastal community thrives come summer when its resort status ratchets into motion. Sailboats cruise along the shore and a trolley runs through local streets. This coastal town in the Final Frontier state is a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park and also a mecca for sailing, sport fishing, and kayaking with its stunning glaciers around Mail is still delivered by boat during the summer months.
The delightfully moody setting cue fog and rain of Friday Harbor, part of the San Juan Islands, is iconic to the Pacific Northwest but without the noise of an urban locale.
Whale watching is a huge draw here, and the arts thrive at places like the San Juan Islands Museum of Art. Part of the Sea Islands, this island off the coast of Georgia was established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a vacation-home destination for the wealthy. Along the Pacific Ocean shoreline in far western Oregon are miles of sparsely populated beaches, the town of Manzanita included. With Neahkahnie Mountain off in the distance, you get beach dunes and mountains in one view.
But the natural surroundings—sandstone cliffs and splendid hiking trails—nearly trump all of that. Fertilizers replenish nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates to the soil. Pesticide s target diseases brought by pests of a single plant. However, extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides can have a harmful impact on the environment. Runoff from agricultural fields can pollute rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
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The continents cool temperate zones are ideal for hardy fruits, such as apples and peaches. These areas benefit from excellent drainage and predictable, established frost s. Dairy animals, including cows, goats, and sheep, feed on the hay and hardy small grains that thrive in New England and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region along the Atlantic coast. This is the Dairy Belt. The Corn Belt, located between the Ohio River and the lower Missouri River, receives ample water and strong summer sun, ideal for corn and soybeans.
This vast area of the Great Plains allows wheat to be cultivated in both winter and spring. Dry zones, common in the southwestern U. Ranches with thousands of cattle are common in this region. Traditionally, livestock fed on locally grown fodder such as prairie grasses.
However, irrigation for fruit and cotton farming has drained water supplies in the region.
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Native grasses cannot nourish the huge herds of livestock kept by ranchers. Cattle, sheep, hogs, and other livestock are less likely to graze than to eat corn-based feed. In fact, most of the corn grown in the Corn Belt is feeder corn used for livestock feed.
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Forestry Forestry is a major economic activity for much of North America. Forestry is the management, cultivation, and harvesting of trees and other vegetation in forests. In the Pacific Northwest, for instance, logging companies harvest cedar, fir, and spruce trees. Lumber from these trees is exported around the world for construction.
Some of the continents largest paper mills are found in these temperate rain forests.
In addition to paper, paper mills produce cardboard and fiberboard. Overharvest ing of timber is a concern throughout North America. The reduction of forested land reduces biodiversity and threatens the longevity of the timber industry. The logging industry and local government s must work together to develop sustainable plans to harvest timber. The Mexican government, for example, created the ProArbol pro-tree campaign with the objectives of conserving and restoring forests. The campaign pledges to plant more than million trees in urban and rural Mexico. ProArbol also works to ensure that Mexican forests positively influence biodiversity and human health.
Mining Extractive activities, such as mining and drilling, dominate the North American economy.
Mining provides billions of dollars and millions of jobs throughout the continent. North America is a leading producer of coal , used in energy production; bauxite, used to create aluminum; iron and copper, both used in construction; and nickel, used to create steel , which North American companies export around the world. Gold and silver mines operate in the western part of the continent. Extractive activities have been a major part of the economies of North America for hundreds of years. For example, gold mining helped spur development in the U.
Coal remains a primary industry for the U. Coal is a type of sedimentary rock found deep underground, formed from the remains of ancient plants. When burned, coal is an excellent source of energy and is mostly used as fuel for electricity -generating power plants. Coal can be mined underground or in large, open pits. Mining is a dangerous industry. Coal is combustible , meaning it catches fire and explodes easily. Coal dust is toxic when breathed for long periods of time.
Mines are vulnerable to collapse. Mining accidents have led companies and governments to pursue regulation s that ensure greater safety for miners. In , for instance, a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia, exploded. Thirteen miners were trapped hundreds of meters below ground. Only one miner survived. The so-called Sago mine disaster prompted calls for greater communication and safety technology to be employed at mining sites throughout North America.
Coal mining can also have a negative impact on the environment. Mountaintop removal mining MTR has eliminated entire mountain ecosystems in the Appalachians. This type of mining also results in coal waste products being stored near public land. Improper storage of these waste products has damaged ecosystems and threatened human health. In , a massive spill resulted in 1. The spill damaged homes and entered into the Emory and Clinch Rivers, killing large fish populations and threatening water supplies.
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Drilling North America is home to vast deposits of oil and natural gas, which are drilled for energy and fuel. Oil and gas extraction are key elements of North Americas economy. The United States, Canada, and Mexico are among the worlds top oil producers.
The Athabasca tar sands , in the Canadian province of Alberta, are the worlds largest reservoir of heavy crude oil. More than 20 national and international extraction projects are established in the Athabasca tar sands. The extraction and processing of crude oil, however, destroys the areas boreal forest s and diverts an incredible volume of water from local rivers. The heavy crude oil from tar sands also emits 20 percent more carbon dioxide than emissions from light crude oil.
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