By: Wes Burtnett
Most of the West has an arid/semiarid climate. San Diego, CA averages just 9 inches of rain a year. In Reno, NV there is only about 7 inches a year of rain. However Seattle, WA gets about 39 inches of rain every year, and in Northern California giant redwoods thrive. An aqueduct called "The California Aqueduct" brings water from Sacramento Valley to Los Angeles (695 Miles)
Growth of Western Cities
The completion of the Transcontinental railroad spurred the growth of towns and cities along the side of the track all across the country. It only costed one dollar to travel from the Midwest to Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the nation's second largest city, it started out as a cattle town providing beef for prospectors in San Francisco during the Gold Rush.
Natural Resources and Economy
Under the miles and miles of mountains lies huge amounts of minerals such as gold, silver, uranium, and others. In the 60's there was the discovery of a huge oil deposit in Alaska. Other natural resources also bring people to the West, such as abundant amounts of fish.
Conquering Western Distances
The two outlying states of the Western Region, Alaska and Hawaii, face challenges in surmounting distances.
- Alaska - Alaska is the largest state but is one of the least populated, at just 630,000 people, It also doesn't have very many roads. Anchorage, for example, has 230,000 people and only two roads lead out of town.
- Hawaii - Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state having joined the U.S in 1959. This is the only state made up of entirely islands. It has a population of 1,420,000 and for a state that is 42% water that is pretty good.