Progress on Protected Area Pages

Since December, 2021, SAPAA has been busy converting 274 legacy pdf files to web pages. A web page is easier to maintain, comment on and is more searchable.

July 2022, Conversion of SAPAA Protected Areas from pdf File to Web Page
July 2022, Conversion of SAPAA Protected Areas from pdf File to Web Page

PDFs to Pages

In the Fall of 2021, SAPAA made the leap to WordPress for its website. There are numerous reasons for this change including better functionality, access, and sustainability of our web presence.

Part of this leap is to convert and update the pdf files to web pages. As of the last board meeting, nearly 25% of the pages have been fully converted with another 7% waiting final review and editing (built but not published).

Beyond simply ‘cutting and pasting’, each converted we page involves examining the existing content, finding new information and updating the Natural Area’s information with the best available information. A 3-person editorial team is doing the work and each page is approved by the core SAPAA board prior to publication.

Of course, this is not the end of subsequent edits. Minor corrections, updates, photos, etc. are welcome for all published pages (and pdf files).

List of Protected Areas

The List of Protected Areas web page links to Protected Areas of interest to SAPAA. As the pages are reviewed, some of sites will disappear or be de-listed for a variety of reasons such as amalgamation into a neighbouring provincial park (see the prior blog: Counting Protected Areas) and the following table.

Web StatusCountArea-Acre% of Count
a.File Total150616,593.5054.58%
b.Next-Page Total2847,494.9010.26%
o.Built-Page Total2118,172.457.69%
p.Passed Total68112,491.3124.91%
t.Transfer Total610,036.322.20%
y.Issue Total1790.720.37%
Grand Total274805,579.20100.00%
Table Showing Conversion of SAPAA Protected Areas from pdf File to Web Page, July 2022.

SAPAA may choose to add sites. For example, Provincial or Federal Parks have traditionally not been included. As SAPAA moves from a provincially mandated program to a group of ‘Citizen-Stewards’, inclusion of a wider group of natural areas may make sense – but I am getting ahead of myself and the list.

Understanding the List of Protected Areas

The list of Protected Areas is first grouped by type and then alphabetical by the site name. You will notice a column that indicates whether a link will take you to a web page or a file. The Natural Sub-region column was part of a previous government program aimed at protecting a representative sample of the province’s various eco-systems.

Guide to the List of Protected Areas
Guide to the List of Protected Areas

Last fall, all sites had a file designation and ~25% are now web pages. Over the next year, this effort will continue with the following conversion priority:

  1. Known de-listed sites (noted above as ‘Transfer).
  2. Popular sites accessed but not yet converted (as measured by pdf downloads).
  3. Sites in Southern Alberta.
  4. The remainder of the Order in Council sites.
  5. Areas requested by members to be converted (hint, if you have stories and photos about a site, we will fast track its conversion).

Protecting Protected Areas – One Web Page at a Time

The next blog will discuss the formats used and what you can expect to find on an Protected Area webpage. In the meantime, visit the webpages created so far and provide comments, submit photos are just enjoy on of the 274 Protected Areas in Alberta.

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