Sierra Madre Occidental

The Sierra Madre Occidental is a mountain range in western Mexico. Sierra Madre means "Mother Range". The range extends from near the Arizona border down to the Sierra Madre del Sur. The high plateau that is formed by the range is cut by deep river valleys. This plateau is formed from volcanic rock overlying a basement of metamorphic rock.

This uplift has caused changes in weather patterns, with rainfall occurring in the mountains providing islands of available land for wetter ecosystems to form than in the surrounding land. This water forms watersheds that provide the arid surroundings with water that makes it possible to irrigate and farm crops. The wet ecosystems are islands of biodiversity, in what would otherwise be a desert landscape. Oak forests are the predominant plant life and extend into the low land deserts.

This forest and canyon land provided a place for a variety of indigenous people to live, until Spanish settlers came into the area to found towns for the silver mines in the area. The major industry in the area now are agriculture and forestry, which have become contentious because of perceived land degradation and the native population's fight against this.

Read more about Sierra Madre Occidental:  Geography, Geology, Climate, Water, Ecology, People and History

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Climate Of Mexico - Physical Features
50 kilometres (31 mi) from the United States border, the Sierra Madre Occidental extends about 1,250 kilometres (780 mi) south to the Río Santiago, where it merges with the Cordillera Neovolcánica range that ... The Sierra Madre Occidental lies approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi) inland from the west coast of Mexico at its northern end but approaches to within fifty ... The northwest coastal plain is the name given the lowland area between the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Gulf of California ...
Sierra Madre Occidental - People and History - Mexican Sierra Madre
... Railroads came to the area starting in the 1880s and 1890s, which allowed many old mines in the region to reopen at a profit ... Since most of the railroads were American, the foreign influence led to unrest among the people living in the mountains, causing the Tomochic rebellion in 1892 ...

Famous quotes containing the word occidental:

    There is a struggle between the Oriental and the Occidental in every nation; some who would be forever contemplating the sun, and some who are hastening toward the sunset. The former class says to the latter, When you have reached the sunset, you will be no nearer to the sun. To which the latter replies, But we so prolong the day.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)