The Great Plains is a vast region of flat, semiarid to arid grasslands of the North American continent. Extending from the Mackenzie River delta in Canada in the north to the southern part of west Texas in the south, the Great Plains occupy the region between Rocky Mountains to the west and the U.S. central lowlands to the east. Within its roughly 2.9 million sq. kilometers (1.125 million sq. miles or 720 million acres) lie parts of 10 U.S. states (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota , Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas) and 3 Canadian provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). At present, the relatively sparsely populated Plains are chiefly known for their economic utilization as agricultural and ranching areas and for their natural resources.