The Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool – Actual (ABWRET-A) is a standardized method for assessing wetlands in Alberta. The tool relies on the assessment of a wide variety of condition metrics that are quantified using data collected in the field, as well as spatial data that is analyzed in a Geographic Information System (GIS), to determine the relative value of a wetland.
In an effort to provide objective information that can be used to continuously improve the ABWRET-A tool, Fiera Biological was retained to evaluate the GIS metrics in the ABWRET tool.
As part of this work, over 70 GIS metrics were reviewed and a recommendation was given as to whether each metric should be retained, retained with revisions, or excluded from future iterations of the tool.
Clearly defined criteria were used to evaluate each metric, and these criteria included consideration of data quality (distribution of values, coverage, vintage) and processing methods, as well as metric rationale and relevance. Findings were presented for each metric and more generally summarized as a series of “Next Steps” that prioritized the actions required to improve the ABWRET-A tool. In addition to the metric review, recommendations on improving the documentation of methods and procedure were provided to ensure transparency and consistency in the implementation of the tool.