Alberta is renowned for it's natural beauty and diversity of landscapes. However, just as these natural features are diverse, there are many ways in which one might approach the study of them. For the purposes of this website the Heritage Community Foundation, in consultation with our project partners, decided to use the framework developed by Alberta Environment and approved by the Provincial Government which delineates 6 "Natural Regions" in the province: the Canadian Shield Natural Region, the Boreal Forest Natural Region, the Foothills Natural Region, the Rocky Mountain Natural Region, The Parkland Natural Region, and the Grassland Natural Region.
Ultimately, there exist numerous frameworks for any discussion on
natural landscapes, each possessing their own benefits. The Heritage
Community Foundation chose to implement the Alberta framework largely
because of its accessibility for the average web user and popular
recognition within the province, throughout Canada, and abroad. The
framework we have chosen is also reflected within the Western Canadian
Protocol for Science and is therefore more intuitive for Alberta's
school children. Furthermore, the provincial framework is used by the
Alberta government, Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Alberta Environment,
Alberta Parks and Protected Areas as well as by Parks Canada. As a
result, it is more "user-friendly" than other models. However,
more scientific models do exist and deserve due credit. The federal
framework goes into much greater depth and is available already in web
format. The National Ecological Framework for Canada overview can be
found here: http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/nsdb/ecostrat/.