National Geographic : 1996 Nov
Realm of the Amazon From the muddy, 200-mile-wide mouth of the Amazon (left) to forests deep within Brazil, astronauts' photo graphs record an immense and changing land. In far northwestern Brazil vast stretches of forest still remain. Along the Rio Negro (above) there are only a few towns. But along Brazilian Road 364 in the state of Rond6nia settlements scar what once was unbroken upland forest (top). The grid pattern grew as ranchers and farmers cleared more land; set tlers, urged on by the government, rushed to colonize this new frontier. By 1995 1.4 million people were liv ing in an area that in 1970 had a pop ulation of 110,000.