The difference between Cascadia and the Pacific Northwest
When you hear or read the phrase “Cascadia” what comes to mind? Do you know where Cascadia is?
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Where is Cascadia?
Cascadia is a region in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Cascadia covers parts of the United States and some of the provinces of Canada including parts of southern Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. This region is home to over 15 million people. It has a land area of over 534,000 square miles which would make it the 20th largest nation in the world if it stood alone.
The term “Cascadia” is used to describe a shared identity for those that live in the Pacific Northwest. It is also a symbol to many of environmentalism, sustainability, and a way of life that promotes the natural world and close-knit communities.
Is Cascadia a Place or a Movement?
Cascadia is also a social and cultural movement whose objective is to foster connection and promote interdependence, sustainability, and resilience. The main areas addressed by the movement include areas such as environment, civil freedom, and regional integration. Cascadians are concerned about global warming and other environmental and socio-economic issues.
When did the Phrase Cascade Mountains first appear?
The name “Cascadia” reflects the importance of the Cascade Range which is a major mountain range in western North America—stretching from Canada’s British Columbia to Northern California.
The Scottish naturalist David Douglas used the phrase “Cascade Mountains” in his journals in the 1820s. Douglas was a Scottish botanist and plant collector who made several expeditions to North America in the early 19th century. He introduced many species of plants he found in North America back to Europe including the Douglas Fir which is a stable and fast-growing source of timber for the lumber industry.
What Other Names Have Been Given to the Cascadia Area?
This area has had many names over many years. It has been called the "Pacific Northwest and the “Oregon Country”. Historically the whole Pacific Northwest was the "Oregon Country". When the area was annexed into Canada and the United States, it began to be known as the "Oregon Territory".
Does Cascadia Have a Flag?
A Cascadian flag, known as Doug Flag, is a primary symbol of the Cascadian region. It symbolizes the natural beauty of the Cascadia area. The flag was designed in 1994 by Alexander Baretich, a Portland native. The top blue color represents the moisture-rich sky and the Pacific Ocean and other water bodies. The white color in the middle represents snow and cloud while the green at the bottom represents the area’s evergreen forest and fields.
What Are the Geographical Features of Cascadia?
Cascadia lies between the North Pacific Ocean and the Continental Divide of the North American Continent which creates a water cycle that is determined by the Pacific Ocean. Several regional mountain ranges catch the moisture of the Pacific as it passes on its way east. The Columbia, the Willamette, and the Frazer rivers and their tributaries cut through the mountains of this region providing rich soil. All the rivers and creeks eventually flow back toward the Pacific. The melting snows also add to the water cycle.
It is a region with diverse geography including forests, mountains, and coastal areas.
Best Locations for Fine Art Landscape Photography in the Cascadia Region
Columbia River Gorge | North Cascades } Mount Rainier | Oregon Coast
Will Cascadia Secede from Canada and the United States?
Cascadia has been listed as #7 on Time Magazines’ top 10 most like likely to succeed in independence movements. The list also includes Tibet, Quebec, Scotland, and Catalonia. Certainly, there are reasons why the Cascadia movement toward independence is a driving force for many who live there.
Some reasons include local autonomy and self-sufficiency; the importance of local food networks; bioregionalism and sustainability; and a dedication to different governing models. Surveys have shown that those living in the Washington and Oregon area perceive themselves to be different from Americans who live in other states. And interestingly enough, many British Columbians feel they have more in common with Washington State as compared with other Canadian Provinces.
Another key commonality is the residents feel they are not truly being represented and heard by their federal/national governments. They often view they are receiving poor treatment from such.
Regardless of the outcome, those living in the Cascadia area are committed to what they see as core values… building a love of their area and embracing the unique culture that is found in their bioregion. It is truly a unique and fascinating area and one you should explore.