aerial photo of a forested landscape with cutblocks

Healthy Landscapes Program

Carrying out research, develops models, and does communication and education to support ecosystem-based management.

We look at landscape change at a huge scale: Canada’s boreal forest.

The Healthy Landscapes Program is a forest land management research partnership based at fRI Research. Focused on Ecosystem Based Management and led by Dr. David Andison, the HLP brings together industry, government and academia to study forest dynamics. The HLP has been a leader in innovative, large-scale, forestry research and management, striving for forestry practices that provide ecological and ecosystem services for generations.

Program History

Begun in 1996, the program has contributed dozens of studies, education and outreach products intended to improve our understanding of EBM and disturbances in Canada’s boreal forest. Originally called, the Natural Disturbance Program, it became the Healthy Landscapes Program in 2012 to reflect an expanded program vision.

Key Resources

Program Lead
Dr. David Andison
a harvest block with a stump icon
To what degree, and at what scale(s) is it possible to cluster forest harvesting activities across whole landscapes?
The EBM Roadmap Workshop
On June 19 and 20, 2018, the Healthy Landscapes Program put on a two-day workshop in Edmonton called "From Concept to Reality: Creating a Road Map for Ecosystem-Based Management".
Landscapes in Motion
The Landscapes in Motion project is here to discover some of the stories behind the landscapes in the southern Rockies of Alberta.
Understanding EBM through Dialogue
A communication and education project from the Healthy Landscapes Program.
Determinants of Wildfire Remnant Survival
A research project from the Healthy Landscapes Program.
Creating Wildfire Mortality Maps and Metrics from Landsat Images
A research project from the Healthy Landscapes Program.
Historical Wildfire Burn Patterns at Sub-Landscape Scales
A research project from the Healthy Landscapes Program on meso-scale wildfire patterns.
LandWeb Simulation Modelling
A research project and tool that uses spatial simulation modelling to generate the historical range of landscape conditions across western boreal Canada.
Healthy Landscapes Concepts and Application
This interpretation project develops and tests a new planning approach inspired by ecosystem-based principles.
OnFire Annotated Fire Research Database
This tool is an annotated database of the available fire regime research in and near Alberta.
The Stony 800 Integrated Planning Healthy Landscapes Demonstration
This demonstration project shows how an understanding of natural patterns can help guide land use planning.
Historical Fire Regimes, Water, and Climate in the Foothills
This research project from the Healthy Landscapes Program seeks to understand the historical fire regimes in the foothills, and the relationship to water quality, land use, and climate change.
Understanding Large Woody Debris and  Development of a Decision Support Tool
This project seeks to better understand the dynamics of large woody debris in small streams.
Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes in the Southern Foothills of Alberta
Research Project from the Healthy Landscapes Program.
Comparing Cultural to Natural Disturbance Patterns
This research project from the Healthy Landscapes Program measures the differences between natural and industrial disturbance patterns.
Dedicated Healthy Landscapes Communications and Education Initiative
The communications and extension activities carried out by the Healthy Landscapes Program to share its research.
Healthy Landscapes Short Course
This is a C & E activity from the Healthy Landscapes program to improve understanding of natural disturbance patterns.
NEPTUNE Spatial Decision Support Tool
Created by the Healthy Landscapes Program, this is a tool for comparing human and natural disturbance.
The Highway 40 North Demonstration Project
This project demonstrates the application of the full range of NRV concepts.
Disturbance in Riparian Zones
This project looks at the patterns and roles of disturbances in riparian zones.
Natural Wildfire Patterns
How and why individual forest fires burn what they do in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications | Resource Lists and Compendiums
A compendium of briefing notes from the Healthy Landscapes Program.
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications
The concept of a landscape’s natural range of variation is a commonly used coarse filter for forest management. Here, Healthy […]
left, many small footprints created by harvestting; right single large disturbance footprint from a wildfire
Scientific Publications | Peer Reviewed Papers
Paper from the Healthy Landscapes Program.
Ecosystem Based Management in the Boreal Forest: Interactive Map of Case Studies
Interactive StoryMaps | GIS Products
Interactive map to view case studies across Canada.
PERFICT: A Re-imagined Foundation for Predictive Ecology
Scientific Publications | Peer Reviewed Papers
Open Access paper from the Healthy Landscapes Program
Landscape photo of managed forest
Scientific Publications | Reports
This online "atlas" is a comprehensive set of documents mapping out challenges to adopting ecosystem-based management in forest management.
Scientific Publications | Reports
This report summarizes the pre-industrial landscape metrics computed by the Landweb modelling suite.
Fire Regime Team Findings
Summaries and Communications | Resource Lists and Compendiums
Using tree rings and fire scars, the Fire Regime Team found evidence of two different fire regimes in montane lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir forests.
Modelling Team Findings
Summaries and Communications | Resource Lists and Compendiums
Armed with rich data and existing models, the Modelling Team revealed how differences in fire severity and tree mortality affect future forest landscape composition and structure.
Employment Opportunity Program Coordinator
Develop and lead scientific projects in the field of ecosystem-based management and build partnerships. Closing date: July 8th, 2024.
Dr. Vilbert Vabi at sea
Vilbert brings broad experience in resource management science, policy, and building relationships between different groups.
Healthy Landscapes Program Coordinator: A Chance to Make a Difference
Closing date: June 3, 2022 This job posting is now closed.
Looking Back on Landscapes in Motion
I want to share what LIM taught me both as a scientist and as a Program Lead.
EBM is a Journey | Webinar
Webinar from the Healthy Landscapes Program on April 21.
Be Part of the EBM Conversation
Blog has launched. Explore the theory and science, and discover how EBM is already being used to manage the western boreal.
Burning Questions: The LIM Team’s Responses to Questions from the Online Workshop
The Landscapes in Motion Online Workshop (Oct. 22, 2020) was a great experience for our research team.
PhD Student Opportunity | Ecosystem-based Forest Management
The position has now been filled.
On-the-ground Findings Point to a Mixed-Severity Fire Regime: Findings of the Fire Regime Team
When you step into a forest, there are many things you may notice about it.
Dr. David Andison
Dr. David Andison
Program Lead
Dr. Vabi at sea
Dr. Vilbert Vabi
Program Coordinator