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The Attractiveness of Woodlands: Perceptions of Forest Landowners in Massachusetts

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To discover what private owners of commercial forest land in Massachusetts consider as scenic attributes of woodlands, photographs of 20 sites were shown to individual landowners and to groups of students with and without forestry training. These respondents were asked to rate the attractiveness of each stand, and to complete a checklist of 14 forest features. The data indicated that (1) forest landowners perceive differences in the attractiveness of stands on the basis of certain spatial qualities; (2) large, enclosed spaces and spaces created by thinning well-stocked stands are more attractive than unbounded openings and dense, overstocked stands; (3) the forestry students agreed with the landowners in their ratings, and (4) some photographs did not accurately represent the attractiveness of the stands. Forest Sci. 25:495-506.

Keywords: Forest esthetics; environmental perception; landscape management; private forest landowner; scenic quality

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Landscape Architect, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003

Publication date: September 1, 1979

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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