This historical map series consists of the Phase 3 Forest Inventory printed monochrome maps by Alberta Township System (ATS) tiles within Alberta. The series is now available as a fee free download in Adobe PDF and Tif formats under the Open Government Licence – Alberta.

The Phase 3 Forest Inventory Program commenced in 1970 and the initial data collection was completed in 1984 as per a 1966 federal-provincial task force recommendation that a provincial forest inventory should be completed before private company timber harvest quotas came up for renewal in 1986. The inventory was initiated by the Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife Department and was intended to facilitate future forest management plans and the revision of annual allowable cuts.

The extent of the Phase 3 Forest Inventory reflects the extent of Alberta's Green Area and fringe areas at that time minus three Forest Management Units in the north (A13, F10 and F20), the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (L9), the Federal Indian Reserves and the Wilderness Areas.

Under the Phase 3 Forest Inventory Program, the cover types were interpreted from aerial photography (mainly 1:15 000 black and white) to generate a hardcopy map base. Field data were collected to determine stand volumes. Extensive ground checks, especially in difficult interpretation areas, were done to clarify and enhance the photo interpretation process. Forest cover polygons were identified to a minimum stand size of 2 hectares and included the following attributes:

  • Species composition
  • Crown density
  • Height
  • Date of stand origin
  • Site index class
  • Coniferous commercialism class

Where applicable, the following information was also included:

  • Stand condition
  • Type and severity of disturbance
  • Slope category
  • Understorey descriptions

In the mid-1980s, a comprehensive update program was established to account for inventory changes due to:

  • harvesting,
  • insects and disease,
  • wildfires,
  • land use activities, and
  • geo-administration boundaries.

Updates to the original Phase 3 Forest Inventory mapping continued until the mid-1990s. Updates were conducted by Forest Management Units (FMUs), depending upon the annual aerial photography acquisition program. The Phase 3 Forest Inventory program was replaced by the Alberta Vegetation Inventory program. More recent forest cover and productivity data are available for most of the province through this program.

In early 2003, the approximately 4400 Phase 3 Inventory township mylar based originals were converted into digital format.

These maps are not available as geo-referenced rectified images or GIS-ready data.

Map Coverage and How to View

View extent of the coverage of this product:

At this scale 1.0 cm on the map represents 0.15 km on the ground. Generally these maps are printed on 91.44 x 106.68 cm (36" x 42") paper size.

This product can be viewed on a computer, printed or be plotted in part or in whole. To maintain the original map scale when printing the entire product, it must be plotted on a plotter that can use paper that is a minimum width of 106.68 cm (42").

Map Series Updates and Samples

This series is not updated and contains a range of publication dates.

View a sample Phase 3 Forest Inventory map sheet:

Map Sheet Download: Open Government

The map series is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

This maps series has been organized by Alberta Township System (ATS) meridians, designated as being west of the 4th, 5th, or 6th meridians.

To download Phase 3 Forest Inventory maps, select the desired Meridian and all maps within that Meridian are provided in either Adobe PDF or Tif formats within downloadable WinZip files. Please note: each zipped package varies in size with 1.0gb being an average size.

PLEASE NOTE: Your use of the information will be governed by the terms of the Open Government Licence - Alberta, in force as of the date you accessed the information.

Map Sheets by ATS Meridian

West of 4th Meridian

West of 5th Meridian

West of 6th Meridian