We monitor the state of Canada’s forests to provide quality information on development activity and environmental impacts.
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(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.
(2016-01-21) In October 2015, GFWC staff did some field work in northeastern AB and northwest SK to verify our mapping work. The aerial video and photos posted here show oil and gas fragmentation in former intact forest landscapes.
(2014-11-12) “The good news is that the entire area of Y2Y incurred a net forest loss of 2.4% during this period, an amount substantially less than for Canada as a whole,” said Peter Lee, Executive Director of Global Forest Watch Canada. “The bad news is that there are substantial regional differences between the North, Central and South zones of Y2Y, with the Central zone exhibiting significantly more net forest loss during the 2000 to 2012 period.”
(2014-11-12) For the Y2Y region, Global Forest Watch Canada conducted a “first-look” analysis of forest extent and forest change, both loss and gain, for the period 2000-2012. We performed this analysis for three reasons: (1) to demonstrate the utility of powerful, new, freely-available satellite-based technologies; (2) to begin monitoring the key forest ecosystems of the Y2Y region, an area that is the focus of one of the planet's leading conservation initiatives; (3) to contribute to strategic discussions regarding where to focus conservation energies and resources for the forests of the Y2Y region.
(2014-09-03) Global Forest Watch Canada conducted a made-in-Alberta approach to the mapping and analysis of the conservation values of the boreal region of northern Alberta, an area comprising more than 2/3 of Alberta. We examined natural landscape features, wildlife and human disturbances and ranked the condition, diversity, ecological function and special features of the entire study area.
(2014-07-24) Global Forest Watch Canada conducted a field validation exercise to test the accuracy of the “forest gain” component of the new global dataset of forest change (High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change; see sciencemag.org) for two sites in a forested region of southwestern Alberta, Canada, known regionally as the Eastern Slopes. Our study warrants a close consideration of the dataset's use in the Canadian context.