We monitor the state of Canada’s forests to provide quality information on development activity and environmental impacts.
Welcome to the GFWC website! View our most recent stories on the home-page or browse our materials using the menus above. Click on the story titles or on "Read more" for more information and to download materials: reports, data, press releases and more.
Stay connected! See below to connect via social media, and/or to subscribe to our e-newsletter.
(2016-09-20) The second and third bulletins in this series on disturbance issues in the Castle Wilderness examine the length of linear disturbances and their density in the newly proposed parks. There was a total of 1,823 km of linear features (e.g. roads, trails, and transmission lines). The density of linear disturbances in the provincial park was 3.5 km/km2, while in the wildland provincial park it was just over 1 km/km2. Thresholds described in the scientific literature to maintain core habitat for grizzly bears are 0.6 km/km2 and 0.69 km/km2 for bull trout. The third bulletin details findings of analyses regarding the density of disturbances in relation to grizzly bear habitat, as well as westslope cutthroat and trout habitat.
(2016-09-20) Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) mapped linear disturbances in the Alberta Castle using ancillary data sources and air photographs from the summer of 2012, and then refined the dataset to categorize roads. This dataset was used in GFWC's analyses of the extent of linear disturbance and its impact on species at risk in Alberta's Castle region. The methodology used to create this data can be found in Bulletin 2.
(2016-09-20) “Our analysis shows the extent of linear disturbances in the Castle is already too high to maintain or enhance ecological integrity, particularly in the proposed provincial park,” said Wynet Smith, Executive Director of GFWC. “Much of the linear disturbances need to be removed and rehabilitated if the Castle is to meet its ecological objectives of water security and habitat for species at risk.”
(2016-09-06) The proposed Castle protected area has been subject to fragmentation due to its long history of human use. However, it has the potential to protect some of the last remaining intact forest landscape fragments in the Southern Alberta foothills. As per GFWC’s results (which are summarized in its first bulletin on the issue), Executive Director Wynet Smith notes: “if we are truly to protect one of the greatest water sources and some of the most diverse habitat in Southern Alberta, the Government needs to actively restore this landscape.”
(2016-09-06) - This is GFWC's first bulletin in a special series on the Castle Wilderness, which is currently proposed for protection. As input to the management planning process for the new protected areas, GFWC has conducted analysis to update disturbance and intactness information for this important ecological region. This first bulletin looks specifically at fragmentation in the area - and provides some analysis of the intact forest landscape fragments (IFLFs) that remain.
(2016-08-16) GFWC's new IFL layer showed a 5 percent (216,199 km2) decrease in Canada's pristine forests due to degradation and fragmentation between 2000 and 2013. GFWC’s analysis also shows 92 percent of the reduction in Canadian IFLs occurred in areas that are home to one endangered species, while 14 percent of reduction occurred in habitats of at least six endangered species. See a summary and maps of these and other key results on the Global Forest Watch Blog.
(2016-07-05) Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) is pleased to release its first interactive map: Intact Forest Landscapes of Canada, 2000-2013. This map helps democratize data by enabling viewers to view GFWC's intact forest landscapes as of 2000 and 2013 and the areas of degradation and fragmentation.
(2016-07-05) Global Forest Watch Canada has just released its newest iteration of Canada’s intact forest landscapes layer, noting a significant decrease in their area. Intact forest landscapes are becoming increasingly rare at the global level. They are also growing in importance as reference points for understanding managed forest landscapes and designing management schemes that preserve or restore significant aspects of the natural forest landscape.
(2016-07-05) GFWC has updated its circa 2000 intact forest landscape (IFL) layer and created a 2013 version. GFWC, as per its core principles, is sharing all three datasets: updated circa 2000 IFL layer, 2013 IFL layer, and the IFL change 2000-2013 layer. See the metadata plus the bulletin for further details on the methodology and results.