Land-use Planning Regions:

TOTAL AREA:
50,338 km2

TOTAL Human Footprint:
31,079 km2

Region Overview

The Red Deer Region encompasses an area of just over 51,000 km2 in south-central Alberta. The Grassland Natural Region and Parkland Natural Region comprise the dominant ecosystem types, representing 44% and 38% of the landbase, respectively; the Boreal Forest (8%) and Foothills (1%) Natural Regions cover much smaller areas. Agriculture is a critical industry in this region, and is part of a proud farming legacy that defines the economy and culture in many rural communities. Conventional oil and gas development is also common. The pressure to convert not only native grassland but also agricultural land to other land uses is an ongoing management challenge in this landbase. Human footprint status and trend is summarized for the Red Deer Region.

Status

As of 2016, human footprint occupied 61.74% of the Red Deer Region. Covering 54.43% of the region, agriculture was the dominant human footprint. The following categories had lower footprints and occupied similar areas: transportation (2.78%), energy (2.49%), and urban (1.59%).

Human Footprint Type Area (km2) Area (%)
Total Human Footprint 31,079 61.7
Agriculture 27,399 54.4
Energy 1,253 2.5
Forestry 25 0.1
Human-created Water Bodies 201 0.4
Transportation 1,399 2.8
Urban/Industrial 800 1.6

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

Total Human Footprint 61.7%

Agriculture 54.4%

Energy 2.5%

Forestry 0.1%

Human-created Water Bodies 0.4%

Transportation 2.8%

Urban/Industrial 1.6%

Trend

Between 1999 and 2016, the total area of human footprint in the Red Deer Region increased by 2.81%, from 58.93% to 61.74%. More than half of the increase in human footprint was driven by the expansion of energy footprint, which increased by more than 1% from 1.13% to 2.49%. The next largest increases in footprint are attributed to agriculture and urban categories, which increased by 1.16% and 0.46%, respectively. 

Human Footprint Type 1999 (km2) 2016 (km2) Change (km2)
Total Human Footprint 29,664 31,079 + 1,414
Agriculture 26,815 27,399 + 584
Energy 569 1,253 + 685
Forestry 10 25 + 15
Human-created Water Bodies 151 201 + 50
Transportation 1,279 1,399 + 121
Urban/Industrial 569 800 + 232
Human Footprint Type 1999 (%) 2016 (%) Change (%)
Total Human Footprint 58.9 61.7 + 2.8
Agriculture 53.3 54.4 + 1.2
Energy 1.1 2.5 + 1.4
Forestry 0.0 0.1 + 0.0
Human-created Water Bodies 0.3 0.4 + 0.1
Transportation 2.5 2.8 + 0.2
Urban/Industrial 1.1 1.6 + 0.5

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