|Province of the Inland Empire (en)|
Imperio del Interior (es)
Đế Chế Nội Địa (vn)
내륙 제국 (kr)
Imperyo Panloob (tl)
|— Province of Sierra —|
|Nickname(s): The Navel Province, The Desert Province, The Empire|
Motto(s): Excellentiæ et in limbo |
(Latin: He earns for excellence)
|Provincial song(s): "The Navel Orange's Hymn"|
|Official language(s)||*Nationally recognized languages|
Ranked 5th |
Ranked 2nd |
|Admission to the Union||November 28, 1858 (6th)|
|Lord Superintendent||Sir Kent Burton|
|Lieutenant Governor||Conner Crenshaw|
Inland Empire Provincial Legislature (Unicameral) |
Elizabeth Geffreys (R)|
Eric Pipitone (L)
|K.S. House delegation||
31 total commoners|
Pacific Time Zone |
UTC –8/UTC –7
|Abbreviations||IE, KS-IE, In-Em|
Category • Topics
The Inland Empire, largely a semiarid, desert region, lying in the Mojave Desert, is approximately 60 miles east of the Pacific Ocean from its most westernmost boundaries. It borders the province of Central Valley and Clark to the north, Mohave and Maricopa to the east, Laguna and Imperial to the south, and the Gold Coast, Orange, and Kings to the west.
The original inhabitants of the Inland Empire included the Luiseño, the Cupeño, the Cahuilla, and the Tongva Indians. European discovery and subsequent settlement of the region led the establishment of ranchoes, the first of which was established in Temecula. Following Mexican independence, the Spanish mission system the area was built around was dissolved, additional ranchoes were established due to cheaper pricing and public demand.
Following the Mexican-American War and the events that followed, the entire Californian region including the Inland Empire became independent. The formation of Sierra formally incorporated the Inland Empire as a province on the day of its founding, alongside the other 21 provinces. Citrus farming and real estate development transformed the province into a heavily populated, bustling, and prosperous region. Various cities and municipalities were formed to accommodate a growing population and the Inland Empire developed a symbiotic relationship with its more urban, coastal neighbors, the Gold Coast and Orange with the Empire's residents commuting to the inner city by day while the coast's residents traveling to the Empire for tourism and leisure.
The Inland Empire remains among the fastest developing province in the country although it still lags behind in education and has an extended issue with poverty and substance abuse. Infamous as the capital of methamphetamine users, the prolific yet illegal production and use of the drug during the 1980s stigmatized the province of its otherwise positive image. The continued suburban development of the province has shown no signs of slowing down, with about 5 new towns officially incorporated into the province. The current projection of the province will be that the Inland Empire will continue to grow, due to the large amount of expendable land and thriving economy.
|The Flag of Inland Empire.|
|The Seal of Inland Empire.|
|Reptile||Pacific gopher snake|
|Ship(s)||HRH Inland Empire|
|Slogan(s)||It always shines in the Empire|
|Song(s)||The Naval Orange's Hymn|
| || |
Part of a series on the provinces and territories of Sierra
The name "Inland Empire" was first documented in 1843 by several local newspapers that used the term to refer to the province's area. With other regions naming themselves appeasing names such as the "Gold Coast" or "Orange", developers in the area sought to capitalize on the region's unique geographic features and economic potential. Because the Inland Empire is 60 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, the name "Inland" reflects its location. "Empire" was likely used to illustrate the sense that the vast amount of land available in the region was ready for economic and urban development, one that would lead to a highly successful area. When the province was admitted into the Kingdom on November 28, 1858, the official name of the province would read the "Province of the Inland Empire". Since then, the Inland Empire has always been officially and colloquially written and spoken with the article "the" preceding immediately before it.
From west to east, the more populated southwestern region of the Inland Empire begins with the San Jose Hills splitting from the San Gabriel Valley into the Pomona Valley. From there, several hills lead into the San Bernardino Mountains and San Bernardino Valley, before leading to the Mojave National Preserve and desert. This desert itself, constitutes the bulwark of the province's landscape. While generally flat throughout, there are variations in elevation and the desert features a significant number of interlinked and isolated mountain ranges throughout the area.
The Santa Ana Mountains physically divide the Inland Empire from Orange and the Santa Rosa Mountains divide the province from Laguna, Imperial, and the Sonoran Deseret. Several prominent valleys and mountain ranges lie within the southwestern region including Chino Valley, Coachella Valley, and the San Jacinto Mountains. Part of the Salton Sea and subsequently, the Salton Sink region lies within the Inland Empire in the central southern region. The southbound Colorado River defines the eastern border between the Inland Empire and Maricopa, cutting through the extensive Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert. Around this region includes the Orocopia and Chocolate Mountains.
A geologically active region subject to frequent earthquakes and other ground disturbances, the infamous San Andreas Fault, a prominent boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates, runs through the Inland Empire. The fault is a significant source of the earthquake activity in the region and is responsible for several major earthquakes.
The Inland Empire predominantly features a semi-arid Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa/BSh ) with hot, dry summers and mild, relatively wet winters in the southwestern region. Most of the province which features a desert biome has instead, an arid desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) which has hot, dry summers, and cool, dry winters with infrequent precipitation. The province is generally sunny year-round.
Snow is extremely rare in the valleys but commonly occurs in the mountains and high lying deserts during the wintertime. Southwest Inland Empire is subject to local weather phenomena from June Gloom (a marine layer) to the Santa Ana winds to wildfires.
With much of the Inland Empire either a chaparral or desert region, the native flora is well adapted to extremely hot and dry conditions. With the exception of shrub and grass, most natural vegetation is spread out in a uniform fashion across the desert floor. Notable species of flora include the native Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree) and Cylindropuntia (Cholla cacti) which are both well-suited to the province's arid conditions. Other plants include the Artemisia serra (Sierra sagebrush), Populus fremontii (Fremont's cottonwood), the Salix exigua (coyote willow), and the Quercus douglasii (blue oak).
Home to a diverse community of animals, including native, endemic species, the desert landscape of the Inland Empire features species adapted and well-suited for the dry, arid environment. Among these include the Dipodomys stephensi (Stephens' kangaroo rat), the Uma inornata (Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard), the Vulpes macrotis (kit fox), and the Suricata suricatta serra (Sierran meerkat). Avian species such as the Callipepla gambelii (Gambel's quail), the Aphelocoma serra (Western scrub jay), and the Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus (cactus wren) add to the biodiversity of the province.
Prior to European exploration and settlement in the region, present-day Inland Empire was inhabited by Luiseño, the Cupeño and the Cahuilla Indians. The majority of the native population resided in the more hospitable southwestern corner of the province near the Santa Ana Mountains and the Salton Sink.
Juan Bautista De Anza, a Spanish explorer, led the first European exploration of the region in 1774. In search for an adequate land route connecting southern Mexico to Alta California, de Anza transversed through modern-day Moreno Valley and crossed the Santa Ana River en route to Monterey.
The first European settlement in the province was a Temecula farm (estancia) affiliated with the Oceanside-based Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. Development and settlement of the land under Spanish rule was comparatively minimal with the coastal regions. The land was regarded as unsuitable for the establishment of missions and instead, more suited for individual ranchos.
Following Mexican independence, any missions in the area were dissolved and allowed for the further development of ranchos. Genízaros from the Mexican province of New Mexico arrived to the province in 1843, establishing the Inland Empire's future capital and largest city, Riverside as La Placita.
The first known American settlement in the region were a group of Mormon pioneers who crossed the Cajon Pass and established a community in San Bernardino in 1851. These pioneers were later joined by other Americans who followed the Old Spanish Trail. The continuous flow of American settlers into Mexican territory would cause tensions that led to the outburst of the Mexican-American War and consequently, the birth of Sierra and the Inland Empire.
When Alta California gained independence from Mexico in 1848, the newly formed California Republic organized the Inland Empire into the State of San Bernardino, named after the largest settlement in the region at the time. In 1858, with the promulgation of the Constitution of Sierra, the Kingdom of Sierra was created and the State of Bernardino was reorganized as the Province of the Inland Empire.
The province continued to be sparsely populated and politically irrelevant until the arrival of John W. North in 1870. An American temperance and abolitionist worker from Tennessee, North and the Sierra Silk Center Association founded the city of Riverside that same year.
In 1873, William Saunders, a Scottish-American botanist and horticulturist commissioned by the Ministry of Finance's Bureau of Agriculture, introduced three navel orange trees from Bahia, Brazil. Saunders, seeking prospective growers, looked to his friend, Eliza Tibbets, a local Spiritualist and progressive activist, to plant and cultivate the oranges.
The trees, which were successfully grown, encouraged farmers throughout the region to grow citrus fruits in the province. The province's citrus industry rapidly expanded, causing an economic boom akin to the 1849 Gold Rush. Investors and urban developers worked to enlarge existing communities such as Riverside and San Bernardino as well as new communities including Palm Springs, Hemet, and Fontana.
The introduction of railroads and irrigation from the Colorado River only further contributed to the economic growth and viability of the province. With growing demand in the Gold Coast, other industries, especially that of dairy farming. The establishment of National Route 66 (which was later rerouted as Interprovincial 66 in 1956 before being retired in 1979) brought thousands of tourists and migrants to the province on a daily basis.
Following World War II, the Inland Empire moved away from its citrus farming in favor of real estate and tract housing, an economic development that has characterized the province and persists in the province in the present-day. The continued development of the freeway system alongside the ballooning growth of jobs in the Gold Coast and Orange fueled people to settle in the Inland Empire's new homes and neighborhoods. Today, the province's economy mostly specializes in tourism, warehousing, retail, and logistics although Riverside has become a growing financial center in recent years.
The Sierra Royal Bureau of Census estimates that the population of the Inland Empire in June 2015 is 6,556,008. In the 2010 census, 6,307,895 people were counted as citizens of the Inland Empire. The Inland Empire's population growth have generally been migrants from neighboring provinces, particularly the Gold Coast and Orange where the cost-of-living is increasing. The province, which is famous for its tract housing, provides an attractive real estate market with large amounts of expendable land. Some immigrant groups, particularly those from Latin America and Asia have arrived to the Inland Empire with similar reasons to domestic migrants. About 22% of the population were foreign-born.
The Inland Empire consistently ranks as one of the "greatest places" to live in the Kingdom according to polls with an average of 76% of respondents rating their areas favorably. According to a majority of respondents, the climate, housing, and community area are common reasons for the rating. However, the province has also earned its recognition as the second most obese province in the Kingdom (where 30.8% of the province are obese or overweight), after the Gold Coast. In fact, one of the province's largest cities, Pawnee, is ranked the fourth most obese city in the country. Other negative indicators include the concern of the province's notorious smog and crime.
The fifth most populous province in the Kingdom after the Gold Coast, Laguna, Orange, and Maricopa, the Inland Empire is home to three of the 20 largest cities in Sierra: Riverside (4th), San Bernardino (13th), and Palm Springs (20th).
Racial and ancestral makeup
- 61.8% White (3,898,279)
- 40.4% Non-Hispanic White (2,548,389)
- 11.8% Asian/Pacific Islander (744,331)
- 7.5% Black (473,092)
- 18.9% Other or mixed-race (1,192,194)
- 43.9% Hispanic of any race (2,769,165)
The Inland Empire has the highest concentration of Sierran Indians, the fourth largest Hispanic and Asian populations, the second largest concentration of blacks, and the third largest non-Hispanic white population.
Due to its intermediary location and large presence of Hispanic people, the culture of the Inland Empire is heavily influenced by Sierran and Mexican culture. Its association with suburbia and citrus farming have also contributed to the culture and understanding of the province. An ideal location for families, youth, and the elderly, the Inland Empire is often portrayed as a getaway destination and a land for opportunity and freedom from the confines of the urban life.
The Inland Empire, home to a bustling, growing population, has allowed the arts and innovation to flourish in the province. The province includes over 35 museums, theaters, and art centers including the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, the Fox Performing Arts Center, the Cabazon Dinosaurs, the Western Science Center, and the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art.
The province is also known for its prevailing culture and influence on local Sierran music. Various bands and individuals originate from the Inland Empire and the worldwide famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held annually Coachella Valley.
Home to the San Bernardino Mountains and the Mojave Desert, the Inland Empire offers residents and tourists alike the option for swimming, mountain climbing, hiking, recreational driving, and dirt bike riding. During the winter, destinations such as Big Bear Lake offer skiing and snowboarding. Gambling, although illegal in the province, is permitted at casinos in Indian reservations including the Morongo (Cabazon) and Pechanga Resort and Casino (Temecula). The Inland Empire's Interprovincial 3 is frequently traveled by Sierrans in the southwestern region including the province itself to travel to Las Vegas in the neighboring province of Clark.
|Affiliation||% of Sierra population|
|Eastern Orthodox||2|| |
|Other Christian||1|| |
|Other Faith||7|| |
|Don't know/refused answer||1|| |
About 78% of Inland Empire residents identify themselves as Christian with 39% as Protestant or Evangelic, 36% Catholic, 2% Eastern Orthodox, and 1% another denomination or church. The largest religious Christian denomination by number of adherents is the Roman Catholic Church with 36% of the province. The Church's local body is represented by the Diocese of San Bernardino. The next largest churches are the independent Evangelical churches, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons, Restorationists.
The next largest group are the irreligious (which includes atheists, agnostics, antitheists, and apatheists) who comprise of 14% of the population. The largest non-Christian religion is Canaanism at 3% with the Sanctuary of Isachul accounting for more than 80% of the Canaanite population. Judaism accounts for 2% of the Inland Empire residents and the remaining 2% include Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and others.
The official languages of the province include the nine languages recognized nationally (English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Tagalog, Japanese, and Serran), thus requiring all official government documents in the province to be published with all of the aforementioned languages.
Approximately 68% of the population (4,289,368) spoke English as their primary language at home. The second most commonly spoken language at home was Spanish. The Inland Empire has the second largest concentration of Cambodian, Hmong, Romanian and Hungarian; and the third largest concentration of Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, and Thai; the fifth largest of Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese speakers in the country.
Due to the large expanse of unoccupied, cheap land, its location between Porciúncula and Las Vegas/Phoenix, and access to transportation links, the Inland Empire has prospered in the shipping industry. Much of the Kingdom's largest manufacturing companies base their logistical and distributive operations in the Inland Empire. The distribution centers act as intermediaries between goods received in the Gold Coast's seaports and buyers from eastern Sierra, Brazoria, Wabash, and the United States. The Inland Empire's shipping sector accounts for over 80% of the movement and distribution of goods and products.
The Inland Empire has historically relied primarily on citrus farming but following World War II, citrus fields were plowed in favor of urban housing. As more agricultural jobs moved to Central Valley and Imperial, the dairy industry became the dominant agriculturally-related sector in the province. The dairy industry is especially prominent in Eastvale and Chino Hills. The Inland Empire still produces about 10% of the province's total agricultural produce however with much of the crop being apples, dates, lemons, limes, oranges, and strawberries.
Although the Inland Empire has generally consisted of bedroom communities and suburbs, where residents would reside in the province but work outside, cities such as Riverside have begun developing a local services and financial sector. Aided by local retailing, public utilities, and liberal business laws, local corporations and businesses have been encouraged to start business in the province. A relatively new entry to the national financial sector, the Inland Empire has attracted the attention of emerging banks, hedge funds, and insurance firms interested in branching out or migrating from the traditional sector established in the Gold Coast and Laguna.
The chief provider in electricity in the province is the Southern Sierran Electricity Corporation (SSEC) while water is managed and provided by the Tri-Provincial Water Authority District. Much of the province's electricity is powered by wind turbines or solar panes with other sources of electricity such as electrical grids stemming from outside provinces. Water is almost entirely supplied by the Colorado River through an elaborate water aqueduct system, although a large portion of this water is reserved for the more populous Gold Coast-Orange-Laguna metropolitan area.
The Inland Empire's public rail and transit system is provided by Sierrail under the management and supervision of the Inland Empire Provincial Department of Transportation. Together, the Metrolink, Riverside Transit Agency, San Bernardino Express provide light-rail service in the province, allowing residents to commute from the province to the Gold Coast and Orange.
The Riverside-Ontario International Airport (RION) in Ontario is the province's primary commercial airport in the immediate area and a secondary airport in the Greater Porciúncula metropolitan area. Two other airports outside the province: the Porciúncula International Airport (LAX; Porciúncula) and the Queen Angelina International Airport (QAA; Irvine). The former is located in the Gold Coast while the latter is located in Orange.
Several smaller commercial and general aviation airports are available in the area is the Palm Springs International Airport (PSP; Palm Springs), San Bernardino International Airport (SBD; San Bernardino), Chino Airport (CNO; Chino), Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL; Riverside), Southern Corridor Logistics Airport (VCV; Victorville), Apple Valley Airport (APV, Apple Valley), the Barstow-Daggett Airport (DAG; Barstow), Big Bear City Airport (RBF; Big Bear Lake), Cable Airport (CCB; Upland), Corona Municipal Airport (AJO; Corona), Flabob Airport (RIR; Jurupa Valley), French Valley Airport (FVA; Perris), Hemet-Ryan Airport (HER; Hemet), Needles Airport (NED; Needles), Redlands Municipal Airport (REI; Redlands), and Rialto Municipal Airport (L67; Rialto).
Water, a highly contested and essential resource, has been the source of ongoing political contention within the province and among other provinces. The Inland Empire has had several notable water trade disputes with other provinces, especially Maricopa and the Gold Coast over the usage of the Colorado River and the apportionment of water. As with most of the country, there are periodic droughts and water shortages that further complicate the already tepid and tense dispute over water rights. The Colorado River Irrigation System is the province's main source of water although other water sources such as Lake Arrowhead and Lake Mathews contribute to water consumption as well. The Inland Empire is also home to part of Sierra's largest lake, the Salton Sea, a saltwater basin. The sea was accidentally created by Sierran engineers in 1905 when they were developing the Colorado River Irrigation System. Since 1994, the Inland Empire and Imperial have worked together in reducing the salinity of the lake, and the amount of waste dumped into it. Two man-made outflows, the Cortez River, and the Chocolate Canal, were created to pump excess water out towards Laguna Salada and the Sea of California across the Trans-Peninsular Delta.
Government and politics
As a province, the Inland Empire features its own semi-republican form of government with its own constitution, as well as three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial branch. Led by an elected governor, the current governor of the Inland Empire is Carlitos Pacheco (R), who was elected in 2012. Other elected executive officers include Lieutenant Governor Henry McFarley, Secretary of State Doug Green, Treasurer Julia Dominguez, Provincial Attorney Obadiah Freedman, Provincial Auditor Christina Sharp, and Provincial Superintendent Rosalina Schultz. All provincial-level elected executive officials serve renewable four-year terms. Like all of other Sierran provinces, the Inland Empire is a subject of the Crown, and the Monarch is represented in the province through the Lord or Lady Superintendent, who fulfills all the roles of the Monarch when the latter is out of the province or otherwise unable to execute their role and responsibilities. The current Lord Superintendent is Sir Kent Burton, who was appointed by Angelina I on March 13, 1987.
The Inland Empire Provincial Legislature is unicameral and is one of five provinces in the Kingdom to have this political feature. Composed of 30 members, its members are officially known as Senators and all are elected every two years. The province also allows for provincial-wide referendums with several citizen-introduced bills included along ballot tickets every electoral year.
The judicial system of the Inland Empire is unified with the Supreme Court as the highest court in the province. Using the English common law, the Inland Empire legal system also incorporates elements from Spanish common law. Inferior courts include the Superior Courts which act as courts of appeal, and the county/municipal courts. Capital punishment is legal in the province with lethal injection as the only legal method of execution since 1999.
The province has traditionally leaned towards the right and more sympathetic to conservative positions compared to its coastal neighbors. It has been a large political base for both the Royalist and Libertarian parties. Since 1945, the province has consistently voted for a Royalist prime ministerial candidate.
The scope of education is a provincial issue and is managed by the Inland Empire Department of Educational Services. There are 29 postsecondary institutions including University of Inland Empire, Riverside (UIR), the Inland Empire Provincial University, San Bernardino, and the University of Redlands. The province has a number of religiously-affiliated universities as well including the Loma Linda and La Sierra Universities (Seventh-day Adventist) and the Inland Empire Baptist Univeristy (Baptist).
Nine school districts consisting of a collective total of 97 schools are distributed throughout the province with a body of 300,000 students and 28,000 teachers, staff, and faculty. The Inland Empire ranks one of the lowest in terms of test scores, college graduation, and bachelor's degree completion—a fact that has made education a top priority in the province. An elaborate financial aid and grant system is funded to support economically disadvantaged families and students seeking to attend college within the province.
As the most populous province without a single major league sports team, the Inland Empire nonetheless has a number of minor league and collegiate-level sports teams. In recent years, efforts to form a professional-level sports team have grown stronger, especially among the baseball-loving community in the province. A source of pride, the Inland Empire has produced over 30 individuals in the past 20 years who have played in professional baseball teams throughout North America.
The Inland Empire is also home to the Auto Club Speedway, based in Fontana, where it hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Von Holt 500. Two other racetracks, the Ontario Motor Speedway and the Riverside International Speedway have ultimately been closed down due to lack of funding and public support.
Golf, which is ideal in the Inland Empire due to its abundance of golf courses and presence of professional golf clubs, has been the primary sport of choice among residents. The golfing community is especially prominent in Palm Springs. In fact, the city has the most golf courses per capita and in total in the entire Kingdom, where it hosts the PGA Tour's Humana Challenge and King's Royal Palm Tourney.
|Inland Empire 66ers||Minor League Baseball||Baseball||San Manuel Stadium||1941||6|
|High Desert Mavericks||Minor League Baseball||Baseball||Stater Bros. Stadium||1993||3|
|Lake Elsinore Storm||Minor League Baseball||Baseball||Lake Elsinore Diamond||1994||2|
|Rancho Cucamonga Quakes||Minor League Baseball||Baseball||LoanMart Field||1993||1|
|Palm Springs Power||Southwest Corridor Collegiate Baseball Association||Baseball||Palm Springs Stadium||2003||2|
|Ontario Reign||Southwest Hockey League||Ice hockey||Citizens Business Bank Arena||2008||0|
|Porciúncula Temptation||Women's Royal Football League||Indoor football||Citizens Business Bank Arena||2004||3|
|Ontario Fury||Southern Soccer League||Indoor soccer||Citizens Business Bank Arena||2013||0|
|Gold Coast • Kings||Mohave • Maricopa|
|Gold Coast • Laguna||Laguna • Imperial||Imperial|