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Encyclopedia > Coulee Region

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The Coulee Region, as it is colloquially known (officially designated the Driftless Area by the USGS and popularly referred to as the Driftless Zone, or Driftless Region since the 1980s) is an area of about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km²) in western Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, southeastern Minnesota, and extreme northwestern Illinois, which was by-passed by the last continental glaciers. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. ... Official language(s) None Capital Largest city Madison Milwaukee Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 23rd 169,790 km² 420 km 500 km 17 42°30N to 47°3N 86°49W to 92°54W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 18th 5,453,896 38. ... Official language(s) English Capital Des Moines Largest city Des Moines Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 26th 145,743 km² 320 km 500 km 0. ... Official language(s) None Capital Largest city Saint Paul Minneapolis Area  - Total   - Width   - Length    - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 12th 87,014 sq mi  225,365 km² 250 miles  400 km 400 miles  645 km 8. ... Official language(s) English Capital Largest city Springfield Chicago Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq. ... Aletsch glacier, Switzerland A glacier is a large, long-lasting river of ice that is formed on land and moves in response to gravity. ...


As a result, the topography is more rugged than that usually associated with the Midwest. In Wisconsin, the region parallels the Mississippi River to the Illinois state line in a band 60 to 80 miles (100 to 130 km) wide. About halfway a lobe extends farther northeast into Wisconsin. In Iowa, it also runs parallel to the Mississippi River from the Minnesota state line to about Dubuque in a band approximately 20 miles (32 km) wide. The Minnesota and Illinois portions are much smaller, by comparison, and much more irregularly defined. Surface of the Earth Topography, a term in geography, has come to refer to the lay of the land, or the physiogeographic characteristics of land in terms of elevation, slope, and orientation. ... The Midwest is a common name for a region of the United States of America. ... The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning great river (gichi-ziibi big river at its headwaters), is the second-longest river in the United States; the longest is the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi. ... Official language(s) English Capital Largest city Springfield Chicago Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq. ... Official language(s) None Capital Largest city Saint Paul Minneapolis Area  - Total   - Width   - Length    - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 12th 87,014 sq mi  225,365 km² 250 miles  400 km 400 miles  645 km 8. ...

Map of the Upper Midwest, showing Driftless Zone
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Map of the Upper Midwest, showing Driftless Zone

Other than rugged topography, the Coulee Region has no one single unity of landscape. In the north there is a "North Woods" visual appearance, as much of the terrain is covered in deciduous forest. The Dells of the Wisconsin River, along the route of the Wisconsin River, in the bed of Glacial Lake Wisconsin, are a unique and specially formed scenic attraction in their own right. In southwestern Wisconsin there is a more pastoral, semi-wooded landscape with many prosperous farms along rural by-ways. The portion of the Mississippi River that flows through the region is noted for its high bluffs and dramatic river scenery. In Iowa, it takes the appearance of low rugged hills covered with pine woods, a landscape not usually associated with that state. In Illinois, the area contains Charles Mound, the highest point in that state. Deciduous means temporary or tending to fall off (deriving from the Latin word decidere, to fall off). ... Dells of the Wisconsin River The Dells of the Wisconsin River (used in the singular, and also called the Wisconsin Dells) is a 5 mi (8 km) gorge on the Wisconsin River in southern Wisconsin in the United States noted for its particular scenic beauty, in particular for its unique... The Wisconsin River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 430 mi (692 km) long, in the state of Wisconsin in the United States. ... Glacial Lake Wisconsin was a prehistoric proglacial lake that existed approximately 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, in the central part of present-day Wisconsin in the United States. ... The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning great river (gichi-ziibi big river at its headwaters), is the second-longest river in the United States; the longest is the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi. ... This article is about the New Zealand town of Bluff. ... Charles Mound is a gentle, 1,235-foot-high hill in northern Jo Daviess County, near the small town of Scales Mound and 11 miles northeast of Galena. ...


Early European settlers derived the name Coulee Region from the French word "couler," which means "to flow." The term is now usually used when referring only to the hilly parts of the region, while Driftless Zone may infer flatter areas such as those found around Glacial Lake Wisconsin. Glacial Lake Wisconsin was a prehistoric proglacial lake that existed approximately 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, in the central part of present-day Wisconsin in the United States. ...


In popular culture

An interesting connection with the landscape of the region is Taliesin, home of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who advocated organic integration of a structure with its natural surroundings. Taliesin itself is built from local limestone and set on the brow of a rugged hill, for the specific purpose of emphasizing its ties to the Driftless Zone of southwestern Wisconsin. Information on Taliesin, the Welsh bard, is located on another page. ... Architect at his drawing board, 1893 An architect is a person involved in the planning, designing and oversight of a buildings construction. ... Frank Lloyd Wright Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was one of the most prominent and influential architects of the first half of the 20th century. ... Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ...


In history

In the past the Coulee Region was noted for its many lead and zinc mines; in fact, the state Seal of Wisconsin shows a miner in honor of that historic era. Today, however, there are no functioning metal mines in this region. General Name, Symbol, Number lead, Pb, 82 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 14, 6, p Appearance bluish white Atomic mass 207. ... General Name, Symbol, Number zinc, Zn, 30 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 4, d Appearance bluish pale gray Atomic mass 65. ... The Secretary of State is the keeper of Wisconsins great seal. ...


Modern importance

Agriculture, where it can be done, tends toward dairy farming. In southwestern Wisconsin this specialty is combined with the characteristic feedlot system of the Corn Belt, and beef cattle as well as the raising of specialty crops. Some ethnic communities have concentrated across the Coulee Region, including ethnic islands of Cornish, Swiss, Scandinavians and Slavs. In Wisconsin, the area around New Glarus is the original source of the Swiss cheese industry in the USA, although most of the Wisconsin cheese industry is concentrated elsewhere in the state. Dairy farming is a class of agricultural, or more properly, an animal husbandry enterprise, raising female cattle for long-term production of milk, which may be either processed on-site or transported to a dairy for processing and eventual retail sale. ... Categories: US geography stubs | Belt regions of the United States ... The Cornish are a Celtic ethnic group primarily found in Cornwall. ... Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe named after the Scandinavian Peninsula. ... The Slavic peoples are defined by their linguistic attainment of the Slavic languages. ... New Glarus is a village located in Green County, Wisconsin. ... Cubes of Swiss cheese Swiss cheese is the generic name, in the United States, Canada and Australia, for several related varieties of cheese, all of which resemble the Swiss Emmentaler. ...


Protection of ecosystem

The Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge has been established for the purpose of preserving a rare snail and rare flower that have made this region a specialized ecological niche for themselves. The Refuge is located in several scattered sites among the states that make up the Driftless Area. [1] Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge in the northeastern corner of Iowa. ...


Human influence

The principal settlements in the Coulee Region are La Crosse, Baraboo, and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; and Winona, Minnesota. Dubuque, Iowa, Eau Claire, Wisconsin and the Twin Cities and Rochester, Minnesota are on the edges of the Zone. It is noteworthy that most of these cities are on large rivers, suggesting the comparative difficulty of earlier land travel, in light of the rugged topography, for the early settlers. La Crosse is a city in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. ... Baraboo is a city located in Sauk County, Wisconsin. ... Prairie du Chien is the county seat of Crawford County, Wisconsin. ... Winona is the county seat of Winona County6. ... Downtown Dubuque and the Riverfront Dubuque is a city located in Dubuque County, Iowa. ... Eau Claire is a city located in west-central Wisconsin. ... Twin cities are two towns or cities that are geographically close to each other and may seem to form a single unit, often referred to collectively. ... Downtown Rochester and the South Fork of the Zumbro River Rochester, Minnesotas third largest city, is located in Olmsted County. ...


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