Great Lakes region

The Great Lakes region of North America is a bi-national CanadianAmerican region that includes portions of the eight U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. The region centers on the Great Lakes and forms a distinctive historical, economic, and cultural identity. A portion of the region also encompasses the Great Lakes Megalopolis.

The Great Lakes Commission, authorized by the region's American states and Province of Ontario, and the additional Canadian Province of Quebec, comprises a bi-national authority with specified powers to protect and preserve the water and environmental resources of the Great Lakes and surrounding waterways and aquifers. The Commission's authorities are confirmed by the Canadian and American federal governments, and by its constituent states and provinces. The states and provinces are represented in the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers.

The Great Lakes region takes its name from the corresponding geological formation of the Great Lakes Basin, a narrow watershed encompassing The Great Lakes, bounded by watersheds to the region's north (Hudson Bay), west (Mississippi), east and south (Ohio). To the east, the rivers of St. Lawrence, Richelieu, Hudson, Mohawk and Susquehanna form an arc of watersheds east to The Atlantic.

The Great Lakes region, as distinct from the Great Lakes Basin, defines a unit of sub-national political entities defined by the U.S. states and the Canadian Province of Ontario encompassing the Great Lakes watershed, and the states and Province bordering one or more of the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Region North America
The states and provinces shown in red all have shorelines on at least one of the Great Lakes.

History

Great-Lakes-Basin
Map of the Great Lakes Basin.

Prior to European settlement, Iroquoian people lived around Lakes Erie and Ontario, Algonquian peoples around most of the rest, and a variety of other indigenous nation-peoples including the Menominee, Ojibwa, Illinois, Pottawatmie, Huron, Shawnee, Erie, Fox, Miami, Meskwaki and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago). With the first permanent European settlements in the early seventeenth century, all these nation-peoples developed an extensive fur trade with French, Dutch, and English merchants in the St. Lawrence, Hudson and Mohawk Valleys, and Hudson's Bay, respectively.

The prospects of fur monopolies and discovery of a fabled Northwest Passage to Asia generated sporadic but intense competition among the three most powerful northwest Europe imperial nations to control the territory. A century and a half of naval and land wars among France, The Netherlands and Britain resulted finally in British control of the region, from the Ohio River to the Arctic, and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. Beyond the region, North American claims remained disputed among Britain, France, Spain and Russia.

Britain defeated France decisively at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham near Quebec City in 1759, and the Treaty of Paris (1763) that ended The Seven Years' War, known in America as the French and Indian War ceded the entire region to the victor. Britain's claims were intensely disputed by a confederation of Indians during Pontiac's Rebellion, which induced major concessions to still sovereign Indian nations; and by the Iroquois Confederacy, whose six member nations-Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora-never conceded sovereignty to either Britain or, later, The United States.[1]

During the American Revolution, the region was contested between Britain and rebellious American colonies. Hoping for favorable claims of territorial control in an eventual peace treaty with Britain, American adventurers led by Kentucky militia leader George Rogers Clark briefly occupied village settlements, including Cahokia, Kaskaskia and Vincennes unopposed, with passive support from Francophone inhabitants. In the Peace of Paris (1784) Britain ceded what became known as The Northwest Territory, the area bounded by Great Lakes, Mississippi and Ohio rivers, and the eastern colonies of New York and Pennsylvania, to the fledgling United States. Britain, which may have entertained ambitions to repossess the area if America failed to govern it, retained control over its forts and licensed fur trade for fifteen years.

During the Confederacy Period of 1781–1789, the Continental Congress passed three ordinances whose authority was unclear regarding the region's governance on the American side. The Land Ordinance of 1784 established the broad outlines of future governance. The territory would be divided into six states, which would be given broad powers of constitutional instituting, and admitted to the nation as equal members. The Land Ordinance of 1785 specified the manner in which land would be distributed in the Territory, favoring sale in small parcels to settlers who would work their own farms.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 defined the political protocols by which American states south of the lakes would enter the union as political equals with the original thirteen colonies. The ordinance, adopted in its final form just before the writing of the United States Constitution, was a sweeping, visionary proposal to create what was at the time a radical experiment in democratic governance and economy. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery, restricted primogeniture, mandated universal public education, provided for affordable farm land to people who settled and improved it, and required peaceful, lawful treatment of the Indian population. The ordinance prohibited the establishment of state religion and established civic rights that foreshadowed the United States Bill of Rights. Civil rights included freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, trial by jury, and exemption from unreasonable search and seizure. States were authorized to organize constitutional conventions and petition for admission as states equal to the original thirteen. Five states evolved from its provisions: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The northeastern section of Minnesota, from the Mississippi to St. Croix River, also fell under ordinance jurisdiction and extended the constitution and culture of the Old Northwest to the Dakotas. The surge of settlement generated tension culminating in the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.

Britain, fearing that fast American settlement could lead to annexation of its western provinces, countered with The Constitution Act of 1791, granting limited self-government to Canadian provinces, and creating two new provinces out of Canada: Lower Canada (today's Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).

Settlement and economic expansion on both sides accelerated after the 1825 opening of The Erie Canal, an astonishingly successful public venture that effectively integrated markets and commerce between the Atlantic seaboard and the region. The region on both sides of the border became a vast research and design laboratory for agricultural machinery and techniques. Owner-operator family farms transformed both demographics and ecology into a vast terrain of farmlands, producing primarily wheat and corn. In western New York and northeast Ohio, the St. Lawrence, Mohawk, and Hudson rivers provided outlets for commercial corn and wheat, while The Ohio River let agricultural products from western Pennsylvania and southern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois journey downstream to New Orleans. Mining, primarily soft metals of copper, zinc, and lead; and timber to supply rapidly expanding sawmills that supplied lumber for new settlements.

Agricultural and industrial production generated distinctive political and social cultures of independent republican producers, who consolidated an ideology of personal liberty, free markets, and great social visions, often expressed in religious terms and enthusiasms. The region's alliance of antislavery with free soil movements contributed troops and agricultural goods that proved critical in the Union's victory. The Homestead and Morrill Acts, donating federal land to extend the agrarian economic franchise, and support state universities, modeled western expansion and education for all future states.

The British-Canadian London Conference of 1866, and subsequent Constitution Act of 1867 analogously derived from political, and some military, turmoil in the former jurisdiction of Upper Canada, which was renamed and organized in the new dominion as the Province of Ontario. Like the provisions of the ordinance, Ontario prohibited slavery, made provisions for land distribution to farmers who owned their own land, and mandated universal public education.

River Rouge tool and die8b00276r
Ford's River Rouge assembly plant 1941

Industrial production, organization, and technology have made the region among the world's most productive manufacturing centers. Nineteenth-century proto-monopolies such as International Harvester, Standard Oil, and United States Steel established the pattern of American centralized industrial consolidation and eventual global dominance. The region hosted the world's greatest concentrations of production for oil, coal, steel, automobiles, synthetic rubber, agricultural machinery, and heavy transport equipment. Agronomy industrialized as well, in meat processing, packaged cereal products, and processed dairy products. In response to disruptions and imbalances of power resulting from so vast a concentration of economic power, industrial workers organized the Congress of Industrial Organizations, a coherent agricultural cooperative movement, and the Progressive politics led by Wisconsin's Governor and Senator Robert M. La Follette Sr.. State universities, professional social work, and unemployment and workers' compensation were some of the region's permanent contributions to American social policy.

The Great Lakes region has produced globally influential breakthroughs in agricultural technology, transportation and building construction. Cyrus McCormick's reaper, John Deere's steel plow, Joseph Dart (Dart's Elevator), and George Washington Snow's balloon-frame construction are some of innovations that made significant, global impact. The University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University figured prominently in developing nuclear power. Automobile manufacture developed simultaneously in Ohio and Indiana and became centered in the Detroit area of Michigan. Henry Ford's movable assembly line drew on regional experience in meat processing, agricultural machinery manufacture, and the industrial engineering of steel in revolutionizing the modern era of mass production manufacturing. Chicago-based Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck companies complemented mass manufactures with mass retail distribution.

Chicago and Detroit carry important roles in the field of architecture. Chicago pioneered the world's first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building designed by William LeBaron Jenney. Engineering innovation established Chicago from that time on to become one of the world's most influential epicenters of contemporary urban and commercial architecture. Equally influential was the 1832 invention of balloon-framing in Chicago which replaced heavy timber construction requiring massive beams and great woodworking skill with pre-cut timber. This new lumber could be nailed together by farmers and settlers who used it to build homes and barns throughout the western prairies and plains. Wisconsin-born, Chicago-trained Sullivan apprentice Frank Lloyd Wright designed prototypes for architectural designs from the commercial skylight atrium to suburban ranch house.

German-born Pennsylvania immigrant John A. Roebling invented steel wire rope, a pivotal part of suspension bridges he designed and whose construction he supervised in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Buffalo, based on earlier successful canal aqueducts. His most famous project was the Brooklyn Bridge.

Contributions to modern transportation include the Wright brothers' early airplanes, designed and perfected in their Dayton, Ohio mechanics' workshops; distinctive Great Lakes freighters, and railroad beds constructed of wooden ties and steel rails. The early nineteenth century Erie Canal and mid-twentieth century St. Lawrence Seaway expanded the scale and capacity of massive water-born freight.

Agricultural associations joined the nineteenth century Grange, which in turn generated the agricultural cooperatives that defined much of rural political economy and culture throughout the region. Fraternal, ethnic, and civic organizations extended cooperatives and supported local ventures from insurance companies to orphanages and hospitals. The region was the political base, and provided much leadership political parties in the region.

The region's greatest institutional contributions were major corporate, labor, educational and cooperative organizations. It hosted some of the most influential national and international corporations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century monopoly age, including John Deere Plow, McCormack Reaper, New York Central and Erie railroads, Carnegie Steel, U.S. Steel, International Harvester and Standard Oil. In part to balance democratic representation against the economic and political power of these corporations, the region hosted industrial labor organization, consolidated agricultural cooperatives and state educational systems. The Big Ten Conference memorializes the nation's first region in which every state sponsored major research, technical-agricultural, and teacher-training colleges and universities. The Congress of Industrial Organizations grew out of the region's coal and iron mines; steel, automobile and rubber industries; and breakthrough strikes and contracts of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.

During World War II, the region became the global epicenter of motorized land vehicles, including cars, trucks and jeeps, as well as a major supplier of engine, transmission, and electrical components to the wartime aeronautics industry. Despite extreme labor shortages, the region increased mechanization, and absorbed large numbers of women and immigrant labor, to increase its food production.

Economy

Great Lakes region
State or Province
2008 GDP
millions
of USD
%
New York (state) New York 1,141,088 25.2
Illinois Illinois 633,697 14.0
 Ontario 584,460 12.9
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 553,301 12.2
Ohio Ohio 471,508 10.4
Michigan Michigan 382,544 8.4
Minnesota Minnesota 262,847 5.8
Indiana Indiana 254,861 5.6
Wisconsin Wisconsin 240,429 5.3
United States Canada TOTAL 4,528,128 100.00

Navigable terrain, waterways, and ports spurred an unprecedented construction of transportation infrastructure throughout the region. The region is a global leader in advanced manufacturing and research and development, with significant innovations in both production processes and business organization. John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil set precedents for centralized pricing, uniform distribution, and controlled product standards through Standard Oil, which started as a consolidated refinery in Cleveland. Cyrus McCormick's Reaper and other manufacturers of agricultural machinery consolidated into International Harvester in Chicago. Andrew Carnegie's steel production integrated large-scale open-hearth and Bessemer processes into the world's most efficient and profitable mills. The largest, most comprehensive monopoly in the world, United States Steel, consolidated steel production throughout the region. Many of the world's largest employers began in the Great Lakes region.

Mass marketing in the modern sense was born in the region. Two competing Chicago retailers—Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck—developed mass marketing and sales through catalogues, mail-order distribution, and the establishment of their brand names as purveyors of consumer goods. The region's natural features, cultural institutions, and resorts make it a popular destination for tourism.

Advantages of accessible waterways, highly developed transportation infrastructure, finance, and a prosperous market base make the region the global leader in automobile production and a global business location. Henry Ford's movable assembly line and integrated production set the model and standard for major car manufactures. The Detroit area emerged as the world's automotive center, with facilities throughout the region. Akron, Ohio became the global leader in rubber production, driven by the demand for tires. Over 200 million tons of cargo are shipped annually through the Great Lakes.[2][3][4]

According to the Brookings Institution, if it stood alone as a country, the Great Lakes economy would be one of the largest economic units on Earth (with a $4.5-trillion gross regional product). This region also contains what area urban planners call the Great Lakes Megalopolis, which has an estimated 59 million people. Chicago is emerging as the third megacity in the United States, after the New York City and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, with a metro population approaching ten million. Cities along the Great Lakes have access to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway, making them international ports.

Population centers

Rank Area State/
Province
Image CSA/CMA
2009 population
Projected[5][6][7]
2025 population
Projected increase
2009–2025
1 Chicago IL-IN-WI 2009-09-18 3060x2040 chicago skyline 9,804,845 10,935,100 1,130,255
2 Toronto ON Skyline of Toronto viewed from Harbour 5,741,400 7,408,000 1,666,600
3 Detroit MI DowntownDetroit 5,327,764 6,191,000 863,236
4 Cleveland OH ClevelandSkyline 3,515,646 3,795,658 280,012
5 Milwaukee WI Milwaukee skyline 1,760,268 1,913,000 157,732
6 Ottawa – Gatineau ON-QC Downtown ottawa night 1,451,415 1,596,556 145,141
7 Grand Rapids MI Grdowntown 1,327,366 1,530,000 202,634
8 Buffalo NY BuffaloSkyline 1,203,493 1,040,400 -163,093
9 Rochester NY Skyline Rochester, NY 1,149,653 1,248,600 98,947
10 Hamilton ON HamiltonOntarioSkylineC 740,200 954,858 214,658
11 Toledo OH ToledoMorning 672,220 672,220 0
12 Kalamazoo MI Kalamazoo 524,030 540,000 15,970
13 Lansing MI Lansing skyline brobb 11 2009 523,609 547,325 23,716
14 Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo ON Arial photo of downtown Kitchener Ontario 492,400 635,196 142,796
15 London ON London, Ontario, Canada- The Forest City from above 492,200 634,938 142,738
16 Fort Wayne IN Reservoir Park Skyline 414,315 455,623 39,366
17 St. Catharines – Niagara ON SkylineNiagaraFalls 404,400 521,676 117,276
18 Windsor ON Windsor Ontario skyline 330,900 426,861 95,961
19 South Bend-Mishawaka IN South-bend-indiana 319,224
20 Erie PA Flagship-Niagara-Dobbins-Landing-Erie-July4-2009 280,985 N/A N/A

Geography

The Palaeozoic strata are but parts of a great area of similar strata hundreds of feet in thickness. These strata decline gently southward from the great upland of the Laurentian Highlands of eastern Canada. The visible upland area of today was but a small part of the primeval continent with the remainder of it still buried under a Palaeozoic cover. The visible part was the last part of the primeval continent to sink under the advancing Palaeozoic seas. When the upland and its overlap of stratified deposits were elevated again, the overlapping strata must have had the appearance of a coastal plain. Of course that was long ago; since then the strata have eroded substantially and today possess neither the area nor the smooth form of their initial extent. This district may be considered an ancient coastal plain. As is always the case in the broad denudation of the gently inclined strata of such plains, the weaker layers are worn down in sub-parallel belts of lower land between the upland and the belts of more resistant strata, which rise in uplands.

Niagara Escarpment map
Niagara Escarpment (in red)

Few better illustrations of this type of forms are to be found than that presented in the district of the Great Lakes. The chief upland belt or escarpment is formed by the firm Niagara limestone/dolostone, which takes its name from the gorge and falls cut through the upland by the Niagara River. As in all such forms, the Niagara Escarpment has a relatively strong slope or infacing escarpment on the side towards the upland, and a long gentle slope on the other side. Its relief is seldom more than 200 or 300 feet (91 m) and is generally small. Its continuity and its contrast with the associated lowlands on the underlying and overlying weak strata suffice to make it an important feature. The escarpment would lie straight east-west if the slant of the strata were uniformly to the south. However, the strata are somewhat warped and so the escarpment's course is strongly convex to the north in the middle, gently convex to the south at either end.

The escarpment begins where its determining limestone/dolostone begins, in west-central New York. There, it separates the lowlands that contain Lake Ontario from Lake Erie. It curves to the northwest through the Ontario province to the island belt that divides the Georgian Bay from Lake Huron. From there, it heads westward through the land-arm between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan and southwestward into the narrow points dividing Green Bay from Lake Michigan. Finally, it fades away with the thinning out of the limestone and is hardly traceable across the Mississippi River.

The arrangement of the Great Lakes closely matches the course of the lowlands worn on the two belts of weaker strata on either side of the Niagara escarpment. Lake Ontario, Georgian Bay and Green Bay occupy depressions in the lowland on the inner side of the escarpment. Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan lie in depressions in the lowland on the outer side. When the two lowlands are traced eastward, they become confluent after the Niagara limestone has faded away in central New York, and the single lowland is continued under the name of the Mohawk Valley. This is an east-west longitudinal depression that has been eroded on a belt of relatively weak strata between the resistant crystalline rocks of the Adirondacks on the north and the northern escarpment of the Appalachian plateau (Catskills-Helderbergs) on the south. Early in U.S. history, this provided a vital economic route between the Atlantic seaports and the U.S. interior.

In Wisconsin, the inner lowland has an interesting feature. It is a knob of resistant quartzites, known as Baraboo Ridge, rising from the buried upland floor through the partly denuded cover of lower Palaeozoic strata. This knob or ridge can be thought of as an ancient physiographic fossil, as it is an ancient monadnock having been preserved from destructive attacks of weather by burial under sea-floor deposits. It has been recently re-exposed through the erosion of its cover.

The occurrence of the lake basins in the lowland belts on either side of the Niagara escarpment is an abnormal feature. Ordinary erosion does not explain it. Glacial erosion has formed them through the glacial drift obstructing the normal outlet valleys and to crustal warping in connection with or independent of the glacial sheet.

Lake Superior is unlike the other lakes. The greater part of its basin occupies a depression in the upland area, independent of the overlap of Palaeozoic strata. The western half of the basin occupies a trough of synclinal structure. The Great Lakes are peculiar in receiving the drainage of but a small peripheral land area, enclosed by an ill-defined water-parting from the rivers that run to Hudson Bay or the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the north and to the Gulf of Mexico on the south.

DetroitRiverlaker
An upbound lake freighter passing the Detroit riverfront including the Renaissance Center.

The three lakes of the middle group stand at practically the same level:

  • Lake Michigan
  • Lake Huron
  • Lake Erie

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are connected by the Straits of Mackinac with the Mackinac Bridge spanning the straits. Lake Huron and Lake Erie are connected by the St. Clair River and Detroit River, with the small Lake St. Clair between them. The land northeast of the rivers is undergoing a slow elevation. The Niagara River connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, with a fall of 326 feet (99 m) (160 feet (49 m) at the cataract) in 30 miles (48 km), is of very recent origin, as an older river would have a mature valley. The original valley that is thought to have connected the two depressions through the Niagara Escarpment is thought to have been at the present route of the Welland Canal, and to have been completely filled with glacial drift. The same is true for the St. Lawrence, where there may not have been an original valley. The Ontarian River that was a precursor to Lake Ontario is thought to have drained westward, and the St. Lawrence drainage to have been created by subsidence due to the weight of the ice sheet.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The Middle Ground: Empires, Indians and Republics in The Great Lakes Region 1603–1815, Richard White, 1991 Cambridge University Press
  2. ^ "About Our Great Lakes -Great Lakes Basin Facts- NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL)". Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Economy of the Great Lakes Region". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  4. ^ U.S Army Corps of Engineers (January 2009).Great Lakes Navigation System: Economic Strength to the Nation Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on July 27, 2010.
  5. ^ "Home - Federation for American Immigration Reform". Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Ontario Population Projections". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  7. ^ Institut de la statistique Quebec Archived 2003-12-07 at the Wayback Machine

References

  • Cronon, William (1988). Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, W.W. Norton. pp. 333–340.
  • Onuf, Peter S (1987). A History of the Northwest Ordinance, Indiana University Press.
  • Taylor, Alan (2010) "The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels and Indian Allies", Knopf
  • White, Richard (1991), The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republics in The Great Lakes Region 1965-1815, Cambridge University Press

Further reading

  • Chandler, Alfred D. and Hikino, Takashi (1994), Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism, Harvard University Press.
  • Chandler, Alfred D., (1977) The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business, Harvard University Press.
  • Cronon, William (1991). Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, W.W. Norton.
  • Foner, Eric (1970). Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War, Oxford University Press
  • Reese, T (2001). Soft Gold: A History of the Fur Trade in the Great Lakes Region and Its Impact on Native American Culture, Heritage Press.
  • Shannon, Fred (1945). The Farmer's Last Frontier: Agriculture, 1860–1897, Farrar & Rineheart.
  • Taylor, Alan (2007), The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution, Vintage Books.

External links

African Great Lakes

The African Great Lakes (Swahili: Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the third-largest fresh water lake in the world by area, Lake Tanganyika, the world's second-largest freshwater lake by volume and depth, and Lake Malawi, the world's eighth-largest fresh water lake by area. Collectively, they contain 31,000 km3 (7400 cu mi) of water, which is more than either Lake Baikal or the North American Great Lakes. This total constitutes about 25% of the planet's unfrozen surface fresh water. The large rift lakes of Africa are the ancient home of great biodiversity, and 10% of the world's fish species live there.

Countries in the African Great Lakes region (sometimes also called Greater Lakes region) include Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.The Great Lakes area, where colonial era borders cut through ethnic groups, has in the last 20 years been a crucible of conflict that has launched multiple uprisings and invasions. The United Nations, the United States, and several European countries have special envoys or representatives to the Great Lakes region.

American red squirrel

The American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) is one of three species of tree squirrels currently classified in the genus Tamiasciurus, known as the pine squirrels (the others are the Douglas squirrel, T. douglasii, and Mearns's squirrel, T. mearnsi). The American red squirrel is variously known as the pine squirrel, North American red squirrel and chickaree. It is also referred to as Hudson's Bay Squirrel, as in John James Audubon's work The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (hence the species name). The squirrel is a small, 200–250 g (7.1–8.8 oz), diurnal mammal that defends a year-round exclusive territory. It feeds primarily on the seeds of conifer cones, and is widely distributed across North America wherever conifers are common, except on the Pacific coast, where its cousin, the Douglas squirrel, is found instead. The American red squirrel is not found on most of the Great Plains or in the southeastern United States, as conifer trees are not common in those areas. Recently, the squirrel has been expanding its range into hardwood forests.

Cercis canadensis

Cercis canadensis, the eastern redbud, is a large deciduous shrub or small tree, native to eastern North America from southern Ontario, south to northern Florida but which can thrive as far west as California. It is the state tree of Oklahoma.

Fagus grandifolia

Fagus grandifolia, the American beech or North American beech, is the species of beech tree native to the eastern United States and extreme southeast Canada.

The genus name Fagus is Latin for "beech", and the specific epithet grandifolia comes from grandis "large" and folium "leaf".

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes (French: les Grands-Lacs), also called the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes primarily in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, although hydrologically, there are four lakes, Superior, Erie, Ontario, and Michigan-Huron. The connected lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway.

The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area, and second-largest by total volume, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water by volume. The total surface is 94,250 square miles (244,106 km2), and the total volume (measured at the low water datum) is 5,439 cubic miles (22,671 km3), slightly less than the volume of Lake Baikal (5,666 cu mi or 23,615 km3, 22–23% of the world's surface fresh water). Due to their sea-like characteristics (rolling waves, sustained winds, strong currents, great depths, and distant horizons) the five Great Lakes have also long been referred to as inland seas. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world by area, and the largest freshwater lake by area. Lake Michigan is the largest lake that is entirely within one country.The Great Lakes began to form at the end of the last glacial period around 14,000 years ago, as retreating ice sheets exposed the basins they had carved into the land which then filled with meltwater. The lakes have been a major source for transportation, migration, trade, and fishing, serving as a habitat to a large number of aquatic species in a region with much biodiversity.

The surrounding region is called the Great Lakes region, which includes the Great Lakes Megalopolis.

Great Lakes Megalopolis

The Great Lakes Megalopolis consists of the group of metropolitan areas in North America largely in the Great Lakes region and along the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It extends from the Midwestern United States in the south and west to western Pennsylvania and Upstate New York in the east and northward through Southern Ontario into southwestern Quebec in Canada. It is the most populated and largest megalopolis in North America.

At its most inclusive, in the United States the region cuts a wide swath from the Twin Cities in Minnesota to Rochester, New York, while on the Canadian side, it extends northeast to Quebec City. Further south, the region is commonly considered to include Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio. Within the broad region, there is a core area that includes Chicago, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester, and Windsor to Toronto. The total region, extending from Minneapolis to Chicago to Quebec City had an estimated population of 59,144,461 as of 2011, making it the most populous megalopolis on the continent. It is projected to reach a population of approximately 65 million by 2025.

Great Lakes Twa

The Great Lakes Twa, also known as Batwa, Abatwa or Ge-Sera, are a pygmy people who are generally assumed to be the oldest surviving population of the Great Lakes region of central Africa, though currently they live as a Bantu caste. Current populations are found in the states of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2000 they numbered approximately 80,000 people, making them a significant minority group in these countries.Apart from anthropological literature, the term "Twa" generally refers to the Twa of the Great Lakes region. There are a number of other Twa populations in the Congo forest, as well as southern Twa populations living in swamps and deserts where there has never been forest, but these are little known in the West.

Jack pine

Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) is an eastern North American pine. Its native range in Canada is east of the Rocky Mountains from the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, and the north-central and northeast of the United States from Minnesota to Maine, with the southernmost part of the range just into northwest Indiana and northwest Pennsylvania. It is also known as grey pine and scrub pine.In the far west of its range, Pinus banksiana hybridizes readily with the closely related lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). The species epithet banksiana is after the English botanist Sir Joseph Banks.

Lake Superior Lowland

In the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the Lake Superior Lowland, also known as the Superior Coastal Plain, is a geographical region located in the far northern part of the state bordering Lake Superior. It covers about 1,250 square miles (3,200 km2), and does not extend beyond 20 miles (32 km) from the Lake Superior shore.

The Lake Superior Lowland is defined by a plain that slopes gently downward towards the north. While the area is mostly flat, the altitude ranges from about 600 feet (180 m) to 1000 feet (or 300 meters) above sea level. The higher altitudes are located on the Bayfield Peninsula, where the characteristic plain gives way to more rugged hills. Northeast of the peninsula are the Apostle Islands, which have been designated as a National Lakeshore.

Woodland covers most of the Lake Superior Lowland. Much of the forested area is dominated by aspen and birch trees, with some conifers interspersed throughout the forest. Some pasture and cropland has been established on the plain. Marshes and wetlands exist in a few places in the region, and several rivers drain the region into Lake Superior, including the Brule River, which is surrounded by a State Forest. Two Ojibwa Indian reservations are located along the shores of Lake Superior, the Bad River Indian Reservation and the Red Cliff Indian Reservation. The largest city in the area is Superior, Wisconsin. Other cities include Ashland and Washburn.

This is part of a northern Wisconsin area colloquially referred to as "up north."

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province, also known as the North Woods, is a forested ecoregion in the United States and Canada. Among others, this terminology has been adopted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Similar, though not necessarily entirely identical regions, are identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as Northern Lakes and Forests, and by the World Wildlife Fund by regions such as the Western Great Lakes forests and Eastern forest-boreal transition.

Least chipmunk

The least chipmunk (Neotamias minimus) is the smallest species of chipmunk and the most widespread in North America.

Little League World Series (Great Lakes Region)

The Great Lakes Region is one of eight United States regions that currently sends teams to the Little League World Series, the largest youth baseball competition in the world. The region's participation in the LLWS dates back to 1957, when it was known as the Central Region. However, when the LLWS was expanded in 2001 from eight teams (four U.S. teams and four "International" teams from the rest of the world) to 16 teams (eight U.S. and eight International), the Central Region was split into the Great Lakes and Midwest Regions.

The Great Lakes Region has a unique definition that does not correspond with the normally understood definition of the "Great Lakes" area, even when the context is restricted to the U.S. Although eight U.S. states (and the Canadian province of Ontario) border on the Great Lakes, only five of the U.S. states are in Little League's Great Lakes Region:

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Ohio

WisconsinOne state that does not border any of the Great Lakes, and in fact has no territory within the Great Lakes watershed, is included in this region:

KentuckyTwo states that border on the Great Lakes, New York and Pennsylvania are part of the Mid-Atlantic region. The remaining U.S. state that borders on the Great Lakes, Minnesota, is in the Midwest region. All of Canada, including Ontario, forms a single Little League region.

Pinus resinosa

Pinus resinosa, known as red pine or Norway pine, is a pine native to North America. It occurs from Newfoundland west to Manitoba, and south to Pennsylvania, with several smaller, disjunct populations occurring in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as a few small pockets in extreme northern New Jersey and northern Illinois.The red pine is the state tree of Minnesota.

Potawatomi

The Pottawatomi , also spelled Pottawatomie and Potawatomi (among many variations), are a Native American people of the Great Plains, upper Mississippi River, and western Great Lakes region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. The Potawatomi called themselves Neshnabé, a cognate of the word Anishinaabe. The Potawatomi were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa (Ottawa). In the Council of Three Fires, the Potawatomi were considered the "youngest brother" and were referred to in this context as Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and refers to the council fire of three peoples.

In the 19th century, they were pushed to the west by European/American encroachment in the late 18th century and removed from their lands in the Great Lakes region to reservations in Oklahoma. Under Indian Removal, they eventually ceded many of their lands, and most of the Potawatomi relocated to Nebraska, Kansas, and Indian Territory, now in Oklahoma. Some bands survived in the Great Lakes region and today are federally recognized as tribes. In Canada, there are over 20 First Nation bands.

Spotted turtle

The spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata), the only species of the genus Clemmys, is a small, semi-aquatic turtle that reaches a carapace length of 8–12 cm (3.1–4.7 in) upon adulthood. Their broad, smooth, low dark-colored upper shell, or carapace, ranges in its exact colour from black to a bluish black with a number of tiny yellow round spots. The spotting patterning extends from the head, to the neck and out onto the limbs. Males and females can be distinguished by differences in plastron shape and eye and chin colouration.

Spotted turtles are aquatic omnivores that inhabit a variety of semi-aquatic or in other words, shallow, fresh-water areas such as flooded forests, marshes, wet meadows, bogs and woodland streams in southern Canada (Ontario) and the eastern US: the eastern Great Lakes and east of the Appalachian Mountains.

The EastAfrican

The EastAfrican is a weekly newspaper published in Kenya by the Nation Media Group, which also publishes Kenya's national Daily Nation. The EastAfrican is circulated in Kenya and the other countries of the African Great Lakes region, including Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. It contains stories and in-depth analysis from each country in the region, in addition to international stories.

Tiger salamander

The tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) is a North American species of mole salamander.

Ulmus rubra

Ulmus rubra, the slippery elm, is a species of elm native to eastern North America, ranging from southeast North Dakota, east to Maine and southern Quebec, south to northernmost Florida, and west to eastern Texas, where it thrives in moist uplands, although it will also grow in dry, intermediate soils.

Other common names include red elm, gray elm, soft elm, moose elm, and Indian elm. The tree was first named as part of Ulmus americana in 1753, but identified as a separate species, Ulmus rubra, in 1793 by Pennsylvania botanist Gotthilf Muhlenberg. The slightly later name U. fulva, published by French botanist André Michaux in 1803, is still widely used in dietary-supplement and alternative-medicine information.

The species superficially resembles American elm (U. americana), but is more closely related to the European wych elm (U. glabra), which has a very similar flower structure, though lacks the pubescence over the seed. U. rubra was introduced to Europe in 1830.

Underwater panther

An underwater panther, called Mishipeshu or Mishibijiw in Ojibwe (IPA: [mɪʃɪbɪʑɪw]), is one of the most important of several mythological water beings among many indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands and Great Lakes region, particularly among the Anishinaabe.

Mishipeshu translates into "the Great Lynx". It has the head and paws of a giant cat but is covered in scales and has dagger-like spikes running along its back and tail. Mishipeshu calls Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior his home and is a powerful creature in the mythological traditions of some Native American tribes, particularly Anishinaabe tribes, the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi, of the Great Lakes region of Canada and the United States. In addition to the Anishinaabeg, Innu also have Mishibizhiw stories.To the Algonquins, the underwater panther was the most powerful underworld being. The Ojibwe traditionally held them to be masters of all water creatures, including snakes. Some versions of the Nanabozho creation legend refers to whole communities of water lynx.Some archaeologists believe that underwater panthers were major components of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of the Mississippian culture in the prehistoric American Southeast.

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