for large dams already have been utilized, and smaller dams in the headwater regions are now being constructed. Because of the alternating sequence of weak and resistant rocks in the canyon walls, a cliff-and-bench topography has formed that is typical of much of the Colorado Plateau region. Rangeland grazing is a more common pursuit. Wildlife habitat has been lost through the development of lands for agriculture and livestock grazing. Sapphires are mined in Montana, while great reserves of other nonmetallic minerals occur in various places in the mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park was officially dedicated. High-valley soils are sometimes suitable for irrigation, depending on texture, steepness of slopes, length of snow cover, and the presence of trace elements (e.g., selenium) that limit suitability for crop cultivation. Bighorn sheep and mountain goats inhabit the high crags in summer and migrate to the lower slopes for the winter months.
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It splits the park into its eastern and western sections. The first mention of their present name by a European was in the journal of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1752, where they were called Montagnes de Roche. The Rocky Mountains, with their abundant deposits of fossil fuels, uranium, and other minerals, continue to attract the attention of geologists. Roman Catholic missionaries worked their way northward from Mexico into New Mexico in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sprague had a long history with the area: he homesteaded in Moraine Park in 1874, owned and operated a dude ranch on what would become park grounds, and named several natural features within the park. The Rockies are located between the. See more Encyclopedia articles on:.S.