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Environmentally Significant Areas of Alberta Update - September 2014

Updated Data & Map

Environmentally Significant Areas in Alberta:  2014 Update is an update of the 2009 Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs) of Alberta, and the 2010 Aquatic Environmentally Significant Areas of Alberta.

The report and associated mapping products are available for use by provincial and municipal land-use planners, industry, consultants, environmental organizations, academic institutions, and others, as an information tool to support municipal, regional, and provincial scale planning initiatives.

ESAs are:

  • Important to the long-term maintenance of biological diversity, soil, water, or other natural processes, at multiple spatial scales.
  • Areas that contain rare or unique elements or that include elements that may require special management consideration due to their conservation needs.

It is important to note that ESAs do not:

  • Consider how these areas are being, or how they should be, managed or conserved.
  • Represent natural resource policy, areas requiring specific management objectives, or comprehensive status reporting.
  • Represent government policy, and do not necessarily require or confer legal protection.
  • Replace other indicator-specific mapping and planning tools, such as wetland inventories, caribou range maps, and species at risk recovery plans.

ESAs are intended as an information tool – not as a regulatory tool.

2014 ESA Final Report

2014 ESA Map

To acquire GIS data, please search the portal catalogue of GeoDiscover Alberta,, for metadata and ordering instructions.

For further information regarding the Environmentally Significant Areas in Alberta, please contact Wendy Proudfoot.

Historical ESA

Environmentally Significant Areas – Provincial Update 2009 was an update of the 1997-98 ESAs of 
Alberta data and map.

The original ESA studies in Alberta were done from 1983-1996.  A provincial review and synthesis of ESA work was completed in 1997-98.