Monday, January 13, 2014
Alberta takes pride in being Canada's #1 Have province and it has the scars to prove it. A new study has found that Alberta has no equal when it comes to the rate of disturbance of the natural landscape.
Alberta leads in the amount of land disturbed at about 410,000 square kilometres. Almost two-thirds of the province — 62 per cent — has seen industrial or agricultural intrusion.
Saskatchewan, at 46 per cent, is second among the larger provinces. Quebec comes nearest in area with 347,000 square kilometres.
The Maritime provinces actually have the highest rate of disturbance. The human footprint in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is 94, 85 and 72 per cent respectively of each province's total area. But those provinces are so relatively small that the actual amount of disturbed land is dwarfed by totals elsewhere.
The analysis by Global Forest Watch adds that Wild Rose Country also has two of the three areas in Canada where the rate of disturbance is the highest.
"There were at least three major hotspots, two in Alberta," report author Peter Lee said Monday. One was in the oilsands region; the other along the eastern slopes of the Rockies.