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About half of Alabama
Water is central to the economy of
Washington, and although the state borders the Pacific Ocean, it is the Columbia
River that has the greatest impact. From its earliest use by Native Americans as
a travel route and a source of salmon in their diet to the more modern use of
hydroelectric power generated by the Grand Coulee Dam, the Columbia River is
Along with the Columbia River, the Snake River and the Yakima River contribute
to the irrigation system that is required for successful agriculture in the
area. This irrigation enables Washington to support a successful food processing
industry that includes fruit production, vineyards, and dairy farming.
Washington leads the nation in the production of apples, sweet cherries and
pears. The state is also a major producer of wheat, corn, onions, potatoes,
apricots, grapes and other fruits. There are also abundant fishing resources
including salmon, halibut, bottom fish, oysters, and crabs.
More than half the state’s area is forested, so the lumber and wood-products
industries have always been important to the state of Washington. Many of the
state’s cities, including Tacoma, Bellingham, and Seattle, began as sawmill
centers, and lumber, pulp and paper are among their major products.
Other important industries in Washington include chemicals and primary metals,
particularly aluminum. There are rich aluminum and magnesium ores found in the
Okanogan Highlands, and the availability of water power has made Washington one
of the nation’s major producers of refined aluminum.
Washington Economic Information from
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The World Almanac for Kids Online!
Colville National Forest
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests
Okanogan National Forest
Olympic National Forest
Wenatchee National Forest