land use planning

Public Lands, Public Geospatial Data: Some Jurisdictions Lag Behind

(2017-05-30) Many governments in Canada have committed to open government, and open data. However, these commitments have not yet resulted in comprehensive availability of open geospatial datasets on how governments allocate public lands and sub-surface resources. An analysis conducted by Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) found that not all provinces and territories have publicly available open datasets on forestry, mineral, and petroleum/natural gas concessions.

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Report: Open Data Assessment of Geospatial Concession Datasets in Canada

(2017-05-30) Approximately 89% of Canada’s surface lands are public lands and the Crown also owns most sub-surface resources. In an era of open government and open data, Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) decided to assess whether Canadian federal, provincial and territorial government geospatial datasets of natural resource concessions are “open data.” We compiled and assessed the status of geospatial datasets for forestry, mining, and petroleum/natural gas concessions against the Open Data definition, which requires data be free to access, use, modify, and share. In this report, GFWC outlines the findings of our assessment.

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Canada's Industrial Concessions 2016 (Multiple Datasets)

(2017-02-21) GFWC has recently completed updating our industrial concessions datasets, current to the end of 2016. Industrial concessions are agreements between companies and governments that allow for the exploration and/or exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources and as such are an important indicator of the present geographic extent of industrial interest and potential resource development on the Canadian landscape. Our current datasets include: forestry concessions, mineral concessions, and petroleum/natural gas concessions. Note: GFWC is in the process of preparing an open data assessment on these latest geospatial datasets that will be sent out for review and published when finalized.

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Bulletins 2 & 3. Linear Disturbance in the Castle and Implications for Grizzly Bear and Trout

(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.

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Linear Disturbances in the Alberta Castle (2012)

(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.

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Human Footprint in Alberta’s Newest Proposed Parks Already an Issue

(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.” 

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New satellite data analysis reveals areas of forest loss in the Y2Y Region

(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.”
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Forest Monitoring from Satellites in the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) Region

(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.

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Northern Alberta Conservation Atlas

(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.

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The State of Alberta's Forests - With a Focus on the Eastern Slopes

(2014-06-26) New Global Forest Watch satellite data reveals extensive forest loss in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes during the period 2000-2012. 6.8% of the forests in the Eastern Slopes were lost between 2000 and 2013 due to industrialization. This amount of loss is more than double that of the average throughout Canada’s forests and is also significantly greater than in Alberta’s tar sands region.

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