The Santa Ynez Mountains that we see from Dunn Middle School are part of the Transverse Ranges, one of the few mountain systems in North America that run east-west rather than north-south. (See map.) It takes local residents years to learn that they're really looking south across the ocean towards the Channel Islands. What is the next land you would come to if you kept going past the islands? What other mountain ranges run east-west? Does this unusual local geography have any important effect on the natural plant and animal life in the Santa Ynez Mountains?
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