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M&R Geography-Geology
Resources and Land Use

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A resource is anything people use -- this depends on the technology of the society whether something is recognized as a resouce or not.
Said another way, a resouce is not a resource until people learn to use it.  The coal fields of Europe lay unused for centuries -- the oil of the Middle East had to await the invention of the internal combustion engine. 
Knowledge of resources and how to use them had profound impact around the world.
Natural resources are things from the earth that people use.  Some natural resouces are renewable, that is they can be replaced as they are used, (agricultural products, forest products, fishing banks) and others are said to be non-renewable -- once used they are gone forever (since their natural formation within the earth takes great periods of time).  Fossil fuels, and metal ores are examples.
Nonrenewable metals and other materials may be recycled -- the fossil fuels, once used, are gone forever.
Resources such as air, water, and soil must be conserved by keeping them free of pollution.
The uneven distribution of resources has led to world exploration, colonization, and world trade.  Here, the geology of the world leads to an abundance of certain resources in some places but not in others.
Geography is interested in the location of resources and the interrelationships of these locations to others throughout the world.
It might seem at first that those countries with great resources should be rich countries and those lacking resources, poor.
Sometimes, that is the case, but not always -- other economic and political conditions can and do affect resources or the lack of them.

Renewable Energy Sources

Hydroelectric Power Resource Information

Petroleum Resources

Coal Resources

Powder River Coal

Iron Resources

Copper Resource Information

Lead and Zinc Information

Soil Resource Information

Forest Resources Information

Fishing Resources

Land Use

For many of us living in what is called a complex (rather than simple) society -- the connection to the earth is sometimes obscured.
To say we must earn our living from the earth seems a little trite -- but it is nonetheless true.  Few of us earn our living directly from the earth, and for this reason we need to understand and appreciate those who do -- and in doing so, provide us with our needs and wants.
Categories of economic activity are related to a region's resources and climate.
In some areas, we may find Nomadic Herding as the primary occupation, in others, it might be Hunting/Gathering, Forestry, Livestock Production, Commericial Farming, Subsistence Farming, Manufacturing and Trade, or Commerical Fishing.
In some areas, conditions may preclude any economic activity at all

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Nomadic Herding/Hunting Gathering  --  This activity is carried on by people who have not developed agriculture.  They have developed well organized cultures and pass information about the environment and how to use it by word of mouth.  Generally, these activities are located in remote areas of cold and/or dry conditions.
Forestry  --  The world's great forests are located in areas of subarctic and tropical climate.  Mountains too, are usually forested areas.
Livestock  --  Generally land used for grazing is in the drier parts of the world.  Large areas devoted to grazing are located in western North America, central and southern South America, Central Asia, southern Africa, and Australia.  What these areas have in common is a dry climate that does produce grasses suitable for grazing animals.
Commericial Farming  --  These areas are generally located in humid climates with adequate growing seasons, plains topgraphy with fertile soils.  Commercial farming occurs in developed countries.  Commercial farming in the tropics is usually some sort of plantation crop for export.
Subsistence Farming  --  As the name suggests, the farmer attempts to grow enough food for his family, with little or none left over to sell.  This activity is widespread in the tropical developing countries and in east and south Asia.
Manufacturing and Trade  --  The greatest concentration is in eastern North America and Europe, including Russia.  Japan, China and India are additional locations.  Few areas are found in South America, Africa, or Australia/Oceania.
Little or No Activity  --  These areas are generally located in extreme areas of desert, mountains, or cold polar climate -- often very remote.

United States