- West Texas
West Texas is a region in
Texasthat has more in common geographically with the Southwestern United Statesthan it does with the rest of the state. The area is known for its natural beauty and has many small mountain ranges. This part of Texas is in the Northern Chihuahua Desert and the high mountain areas have a climate that many find pleasant: cold nights and warm afternoons in winter; hot days and cool nights in the summer.
West Texas has a much lower
population densitythan the rest of the state. It was once mostly inhabited by nomadic Native American tribes such as the Apache, Comanche, and Kiowauntil after the Civil War. It does not have as many ties to other parts of the Southern United Statesas does East Texas, although many of the people who currently populate West Texas are also migrants from other parts of Texas and other Southern states or their descendants. There is a very large Hispanic population, especially near the Rio Grande. Many Mexicans fled Ojinaga and walked to Stonewall during the Mexican revolution in the early days of the 20th century. Many Mexican-Americans still have close family ties in Mexico.
West Texas, with its sparsely populated and relatively unpolluted land and its wide vast openness, has also become a destination for people looking to get away from urban life, and although it appears to be only lightly populated, there are many people who own vacation homes there. However, the population is not expected to mushroom in the near future, as it is such a remote area. The main towns of Pecos, Marfa, Alpine, Marathon, Fort Davis, Valentine, Presidio and Van Horn are all approximately 2-3 hours from the nearest commercial airports in El Paso and Midland-Odessa.
West Texas receives much less
rainfallthan the rest of Texas and has an aridor semi-aridclimate, requiring most of its scant agricultureto be heavily dependent on irrigation. This irrigation, and water taken out farther North for the needs of El Paso and Juarez, Mexico, has reduced both the Pecos Riverand the once mighty Rio Grandeto a stream in some places, even dry at times. Much of West Texas has rugged terrain including many small mountain ranges while there are none in other parts of the state. West Texas contains part of the Chihuahuan Desert and also the Southern Great Plains, known as the Llano Estacado.
Due to their smaller numbers, many West Texans feel politically isolated from the rest of the state. There is a diverse mix in political philosophies found in West Texas. The area is known for its conservative politics — some of the most heavily Republican counties in the United States are located in the region, where United States President
George W. Bushspent his early youth. At the same time there is a large number of Texas Democrats. However, many of these Democrats also vote for Republicans and support conservative issues such as Proposition Two, the anti-gay marriage initiative that Texas voters overwhelmingly supported.
Major industries include
livestock, petroleumand natural gasproduction, textilessuch as cotton, grain farming and because of its proximity to the Mexican border, the maquiladoraindustry. West Texas is now becoming known for is numerous wind turbine generators producing pollution free electricity.
Major cities and metropolitan areas
List of geographical regions in Texas
Palo Duro Canyon
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