Land-use Planning Regions:

TOTAL AREA:
192,198 km2

TOTAL Human Footprint:
16,145 km2

Region Overview

The Lower Peace Region, at 192,198 km2, is the largest of the seven land-use regions and covers 29% of the province’s northwest corner. This region overlaps almost entirely with the Boreal Forest Natural Region, which is characterized by vast forested areas of coniferous, mixedwood, and deciduous forests; the Foothills and Parkland Natural Regions occupy tiny pockets in the south. Forestry is an important industry in this landbase with almost half of the region coinciding with Forest Management Agreement (FMA) areas. Well sites and other energy infrastructure are also common as two oil sands areas—Peace River and Athabasca—overlap with this region. The Caribou Mountains, located in the region’s north, are a unique landform in the shape of a low, saucer-like plateau left unglaciated in the last ice age; as a result, these mountains contain remnant communities of lichens, vascular plants, and mosses not found in the surrounding areas. Human footprint status and trend is summarized for the Lower Peace Region.

Status

As of 2016, human footprint occupied 8.40% of the Lower Peace Region. Forestry was the dominant human footprint, covering 3.49%, closely followed by agriculture footprint (2.80%), and energy (1.52%). The remaining footprint types each covered < 1% of the region.

Human Footprint Type Area (km2) Area (%)
Total Human Footprint 16,145 8.4
Agriculture 5,382 2.8
Energy 2,921 1.5
Forestry 6,708 3.5
Human-created Water Bodies 154 0.1
Transportation 673 0.3
Urban/Industrial 308 0.2

FIGURE: Summary of percentage cover of total human footprint broken down by human footprint category in the Lower Peace Region, circa 2016.

Total Human Footprint 8.4%

Agriculture 2.8%

Energy 1.5%

Forestry 3.5%

Human-created Water Bodies 0.1%

Transportation 0.3%

Urban/Industrial 0.2%

Trend

Between 1999 and 2016, the total area of human footprint in the Lower Peace Region increased by 2.69%, from 5.71% to 8.40%. This increase in human footprint was driven by the expansion of forestry footprint, which increased by 1.84% (from 1.65% to 3.49%), followed by agriculture footprint (+0.50%), and energy (+0.25%). 

Human Footprint Type 1999 (km2) 2016 (km2) Change (km2)
Total Human Footprint 10,975 16,145 + 5,170
Agriculture 4,421 5,382 + 961
Energy 2,441 2,921 + 480
Forestry 3,171 6,708 + 3,536
Human-created Water Bodies 96 154 + 58
Transportation 557 673 + 115
Urban/Industrial 192 308 + 115
Human Footprint Type 1999 (%) 2016 (%) Change (%)
Total Human Footprint 5.7 8.4 + 2.7
Agriculture 2.3 2.8 + 0.5
Energy 1.3 1.5 + 0.2
Forestry 1.6 3.5 + 1.8
Human-created Water Bodies 0.1 0.1 + 0.0
Transportation 0.3 0.3 + 0.1
Urban/Industrial 0.1 0.2 + 0.1

FIGURE: Trend in the percentage area of total human footprint, and by human footprint category in the Lower Peace Region between 1999 and 2016. Click on the entries in the legend to turn human footprint categories on and off.