The Cold Lake oil sands area - Township 56 to 69, Range 1 to 11, west of the 4th Meridian, falls within the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP). As part of Albertaï¿½s Land-use Framework, LARP was developed in 2012 to set the stage for robust growth, vibrant communities and a healthy environment within the region. One of its implementation objectives is to balance the economic development of oil sands and impacts on the ecosystem and environment. This is to be achieved through enhanced science-based monitoring for improved characterization of the environment and to collect the information necessary to understand cumulative effects.
Landsat multispectral imagery for 2008 and 2009 and land use and land cover classification data derived from 2009 were used to produce this dataset. The land use and land cover changes include vegetation loss from anthropogenic disturbances, such as infrastructure related to oil and gas exploration, forestry and agriculture, and vegetation recovery from these disturbances.
This digital data release contains the vegetation loss data from 2008 to 2009, classified into 9 classes: 1 - exposed land/cut blocks/harvested areas, 3 - transitional bare surfaces, 4 - mixed developed areas, 5 - developed areas, 6 - shoal, 7 - shrub land, 8 - grassland and 9 - agricultural areas. These categories can be used as baseline data for planning, managing and monitoring surface infrastructure needs and impacts.