TOTAL Human Footprint:
The Lower Athabasca Region encompasses an area of 93,458 km2 (14 %) in northeastern Alberta. This region largely overlaps the Central Mixedwood Natural Subregion, which is characterized by a mix of Trembling Aspen dominated deciduous forests, Trembling Aspen-White Spruce mixedwood forests, and White Spruce-Jack Pine coniferous stands in the uplands, and wet, poorly drained fens and bogs in lowland areas. Energy development in the Athabasca and Cold Lake Oil Sands Areas and forestry are the two dominant land use activities. These land uses along with mineral extraction, agriculture, and tourism, have led to an increase in human disturbance across the landbase. Human footprint status and trend is summarized for the Lower Athabasca Region.
As of 2016, human footprint occupied 8.67% of the Lower Athabasca Region. Agriculture (2.79%), forestry (2.41%), and energy (2.14%) footprint covered similar areas of the region. The remaining footprint types each covered < 1% of the region.
|Human Footprint Type||Area (km2)||Area (%)|
|Total Human Footprint||8,081||8.7|
|Human-created Water Bodies||56||0.1|
FIGURE: Summary of percentage cover of total human footprint broken down by human footprint category in the Lower Athabasca Region, circa 2016.