The Boreal Plains Ecozone is part of the flat Interior Plains of Canada, a northern extension of the Great Plains of North America. The subdued relief consists of low-lying valleys and plains stretching across the mid portions of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and continuing through almost two-thirds of Alberta. It covers 650 000 square kilometres, an area larger than the Yukon. The majority of the surface waters are part of three watersheds: those of the Saskatchewan River, the Beaver River, and Peace, Athabasca, and Slave rivers' watershed.
Timber covers 84% of the Boreal Plains and forestry is the primary industry. Less than 20% of the land area is devoted to agriculture. However, precipitation and surface and groundwater sources are more than adequate to meet agricultural demand.
The ecozone has traditionally been viewed by some as the next untapped resource frontier. The ecozone's relative remoteness and absence of large population centres has resulted in little comprehensive scientific study.
To explore, produce and deliver the potential oil and gas products believed to be buried under the ecozone, vast road, railway and pipeline networks have been developed and thousands of kilometres of seismic exploration lines cut through the forests, providing access to previously remote areas.