Nature has endowed North America with vast natural resources. Its vast fertile plains are very suitable for agriculture and cattle rearing. Its extensive grasslands and forests, abundant mineral and water-power resources and extensive fishing banks around its coasts, are voluble gifts of nature to the continent.

But resources, howsoever big or rich, are useless if not exploited properly. The people of the continent are hard working and make use of science and technology in their economic operations. This is why the continent is the most progressive and prosperous of all.

Let us know at the continent’s various resources and how they have been developed.


The vast belt of coniferous forests along the entire length of Canada and on the mountain slopes, the mixed and deciduous forests of the eastern and western margins of the continent and the tropical forests of Mexico, Central America and the west Indies, provide rich and varied forest wealth. The softwood of the coniferous pines and spruces are made into pulp for the paper industry. The maple tree yields a sap from which sugar is made. Wood from the willow, beech and oak trees is good for furniture and cabinet making.

Soft wood pulp is also the primary need of the rayon industry. Resin and turpentine oil are obtained from the pine trees.

The tropical forests yield many good hard woods such as mahogany, logwood and cedar. The hard woods are used for making railway sleepers, furniture, beams, etc. chuckle trees in British Honduras yield chewing-gum.

The forests provide occupation to millions of people in lumbering, paper, rayon and allied industries.

The coniferous forests are the home of many fur-bearing animals. Trappers and hunters collect their pelts to be made into clothes.

Wood-pulp and paper

Today paper is put to a large number of uses. In fact, we are now living in the age of paper. Paper is made from wood –pulp so that wood-pulp making is the main industry. The soft-wood of the pine and spruce provide excellent pulp for various grades of paper. Trees are felled in the Taiga region in winter and the logs piled on frozen rivers. When the ice melts in spring, the logs float down to pulp mills along the rivers. Cheap electrical power and abundant clean water makes pulp making cheap and easy. The logs are cut into smaller pieces and then crushed between rollers. The resulting mash is washed to remove gum and then it is chemically treated to obtain pulp.

Wood-pulp is spread out on frames and rolled into sheets of paper. It is treated with other material to give it a smooth surface.

Wood –pulp and paper mills in large dot the river banks south eastern Canada and the northern and northwestern parts of the United States. About half the world’s wood-pulp and newsprint are produced in this continent.

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