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How to Navigate the Report

There are two ways to navigate this report described below. If you are interested in the full report, we encourage you to start from the beginning with Chapter 1: Introduction and simply use the "turn the page" function.

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents is accessed through the "hamburger menu" icon located in the bookmark on the left-hand side of each page. This report is broken down into seven chapters, plus the Executive Summary and Conclusion. From this menu, you can easily navigate to any Chapter/subsection/page in the report, or return to the home page.

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This icon can be found in the middle of the bookmark located on the left-hand side of each page in this report. It provides the information above on how to navigate through the content. You can access this guide anytime without leaving the current page you’re visiting.

Photo: ABMI

Section 2.2

Linear Footprint

3.17 km/km2is the density of linear features in the Al-Pac FMA area.

The densities of specific types of linear feature include:
<p>Seismic lines: 2.17 km/km<sup>2<br /><br/>Photo: Pembina Institute</sup></p><br/>

Seismic lines: 2.17 km/km2
Photo: Pembina Institute

<p>Pipelines: 0.25 km/km<sup>2<br /><br/>Photo:&nbsp;ABMI</sup></p><br/>

Pipelines: 0.25 km/km2
Photo: ABMI

<p>Roads: 0.15 km/km<sup>2<br /><br/>Photo:&nbsp;ABMI</sup></p><br/>

Roads: 0.15 km/km2
Photo: ABMI


Linear footprint (e.g. seismic lines, pipelines, and roads), while occupying a small percentage area of the landbase, can have disproportionate impacts on biodiversity relative to its size[1]. Seismic lines are of particular management concern because this is the most common linear feature in northeastern Alberta. Impacts to different components of biodiversity vary by line type, width of line, as well as line density, and differ among species with some "winners" and some "losers"[2]. For example, seismic lines can:

  • increase movement rates by large predators such as wolves[3];
  • improve habitat suitability for some species and decrease suitability for others[4];
  • facilitate dispersal of vascular plants, including non-native species[4];
  • facilitate range expansion of some species like White-tailed Deer[5]
  • alter predator-prey dynamics, most notably between Woodland Caribou, alternate prey (e.g., Moose, Deer), and Gray Wolves[2], and;
  • alter community composition (e.g., soil mites)[6].

Understanding the distribution of linear features, including line type, is important to support cumulative effects management in the Al-Pac FMA area.


Principle 6: Environmental Values and Impacts

Criterion 6.1 – Identifying potential impacts of management activities on identified environmental values

ABMI data and reporting broadly support FSC Indicator 6.1.1(3) by providing ‘best available information’ on the distribution and density of linear features, including road networks, with maps and quantitative summaries for the Al-Pac FMA and AEI.

Criterion 6.2 – Identifying potential impacts of management activities on identified environmental values
Criterion 6.8 – Managing the landscape in the management unit to maintain and/or restore landscape values

Tracking changes in human footprint can help inform FSC Indicators 6.2.1 and 6.8.5, by showing the spatial distribution of human disturbances on the landscape. This includes tracking the density of linear features, such as roads and seismic lines. 


Total linear footprint density was found to be:

Al-PAC FMA AREA: 3.17 km/km^2


  • Seismic lines are the predominant line type in the Al-Pac FMA area, representing 87% of the total length of all lines at the FMA scale. Density of conventional and low impact seismic lines are 1.75 km/km2 and 1.00 km/km2, respectively.
  • Pipelines and roads (minor and major) each represent between 4.6% to 7.8% of line types in the FMA area, with densities ranging from 0.15 km/km2 up to 0.25 km/km2.
  • Transmission lines and railway lines have very low densities across the assessment area.

Photo: ABMI

Figure: Map of Linear Features: Status of linear features, by line type, in the Al-Pac FMA area and AEI, circa 2017. Click on line types in the Legend to turn types on and off. Zoom into map for a detailed view of the distribution of linear features.

Figure: Linear Footprint. Density of linear features in Al-Pac FMA area, overall and broken down by linear feature type. Hover over bar or legend to view density of specific feature types.



Brook. B.W., Sodhi, N.S., and C.J.A. Bradshaw. 2008. Synergies among extinction drivers under global change. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23(8):453-460.


Fisher, J.T. and A.C. Burton. 2018. Wildlife winners and losers in an oil sands landscape. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16(6):323-328. doi:10.1002/fee.1807


Dickie, M. R. Serrouya, R.S. McNay, and S. Boutin. 2017. Faster and farther: wolf movement on linear features and implications for hunting behaviour. Journal of Applied Ecology 54(1):253-263.


Bayne, E., H. Lankau and J. Tigner. 2011. Ecologically-based criteria to assess the impact and recovery of seismic lines: The importance of width, regeneration, and seismic density. Report No. 192. Edmonton, AB. 98 p.


Dawe, K.L., E.M. Bayne, and S. Boutin. 2014. Influence of climate and human land use on the distribution of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the western boreal forest. Canadian Journal of Zoology 92(4):353-363.


Meehan, M.L., Z. Son, L.M. Lumley, T.P. Cobb, and H. Proctor. 2019. Soil mites as bioindicators of disturbance in the boreal forest in northern Alberta, Canada: Testing taxonomic sufficiency at multiple taxonomic levels. Ecological Indicators 102(2019):349-365.

Major road
Photo: ABMI

Effective Human Footprint

Effective Forestry Footprint


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