range, large area of land unsuited to cultivation but supporting native grasses and other plants suitable for livestock grazing. Principal areas in the western hemisphere are the pampas of South America and the prairies of the United States and Canada. Originally the entire ranges of the W United States and Canada were unfenced public land. Under the Homestead Act (1862), more than 50% of the Western range land in the United States passed to private ownership and was fenced with barbed wire. The national forests and other public lands of the West still contain vast unfenced ranges; grazing permits are purchased by ranch owners. Ranges are known as summer or winter ranges according to the time of year when grazing conditions are best. Range management involves regulation of grazing and other economically productive uses of range land to prevent overgrazing or other abuse of the resource.

Instrument used to measure the distance from the instrument to a selected point or object. The optical range finder, used chiefly in cameras, consists of an arrangement of lenses and prisms set at each end of a tube. The object's range is determined by measuring the angles formed by a line of sight at each end of the tube; the smaller the angles, the greater the distance, and vice versa. Since the mid-1940s, radar has replaced optical range finders for most military targeting, and the laser range finder, developed in 1965, has largely replaced optical range finders for surveying and radar in certain military applications.

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Mountain range, central Rocky Mountains, west-central Wyoming, U.S. The range extends for 100 mi (160 km) northwest-southeast to the Sweetwater River and is part of the Continental Divide. It contains many peaks above 12,000 ft (3,658 m); the highest is Gannett Peak at 13,804 ft (4,207 m). The Oregon Trail ran through the historic South Pass (7,743 ft, or 2,360 m). Parts of Bridger and Shoshone national forests and Wind River Indian Reservation are in the range. The Wind River flows from the eastern side into the Bighorn River; the Green River rises on its western slopes.

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Range of the south-central Rocky Mountains. They extend about 250 mi (400 km) from southeastern Idaho to central Utah, U.S. The highest peak is Mount Timpanogos (12,008 ft [3,660 m]). The Timpanogos Cave National Monument is within the range.

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Segment of the Middle Rocky Mountains, northwestern Wyoming, U.S. The range extends 40 mi (64 km) across Wyoming, from the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park to Teton Pass. Some foothills reach as far as southeastern Idaho. Many peaks exceed 12,000 ft (3,700 m); the highest point is Grand Teton (13,766 ft [4,196 m]), which was first ascended in 1872. Much of the range lies within Grand Teton National Park.

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Mountain range, eastern Russia, in Asia. It is part of the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic oceans. The mountains are generally not high, although they reach about 8,000 ft (2,400 m) in the east. They contain deposits of gold, coal, and mica.

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or Great Divide

Main watershed of eastern Australia. It consists of a series of plateaus and mountain ranges roughly paralleling the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria that stretches for some 2,300 mi (3,700 km). Beginning in the north on the Cape York Peninsula, Queen., the range heads generally south to become the Australian Alps near the New South Wales–Victoria border. The range bends west in Victoria, ending in the Grampians, while a southern spur emerges from the Bass Strait to form the central uplands of Tasmania. First traversed by Europeans moving into the Australian Outback in 1813, the region is now important for agriculture, lumbering, and mining, and its national parks and other natural areas are major tourist attractions.

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Mountain range, western U.S. A continuation of the Sierra Nevada, it extends north from Mount Lassen in northeastern California across Oregon and Washington for 700 mi (1,100 km). Its highest elevation is Mount Rainier. Some of the summits, including Mount St. Helens, have erupted in the recent past. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the range in the Columbia River Gorge. Its northern continuation in British Columbia is known as the Coast Mountains. Seealso North Cascades National Park.

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Mountain range, northern Alaska, U.S. It extends about 600 mi (1,000 km) from Kotzebue Sound to the Canadian border. Its highest peak is Mount Isto, at 9,060 ft (2,760 m). Forming the northwestern end of the Rocky Mountains, it lies within Gates of the Arctic National Park. Huge reserves of oil were discovered at Prudhoe Bay, and the range is crossed at Atigun Pass by the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

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Segment of the northern Rocky Mountains, U.S. Extending north-south 300 mi (480 km) along the Idaho-Montana border, its peaks average about 9,000 ft (2,700 m); Idaho's Scott Peak is the highest, at 11,393 ft (3,473 m). Owing to the mountains' inaccessibility from the east, the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1805) had to travel north more than 100 mi (160 km) to find a route through the range. Bitterroot National Forest extends across the centre of the range.

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Mountain range, southern Alaska, U.S. A segment of the Pacific mountain system, it extends in an arc from the Aleutian Range on the Alaska Peninsula to the Yukon Territory boundary. Mount McKinley, near the centre of the range, in Denali National Park and Preserve, is the highest point in North America. Many nearby peaks exceed 13,000 ft (4,000 m), including Mounts Silverthrone, Hunter, Hayes, and Foraker. The range is crossed at Isabel Pass by the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

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