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Scenic Impacts of Eastern Hardwood Management

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The purpose of this research was to quantify private nonindustrial forest landowner perceptions of the scenic beauty of hardwood stands under varying management regimes. In the summer of 1982, 44 plots were selected from stands ranging from average to poor quality and from unmanaged to clearcut. For each plot, standard mensurational data were collected, and four color photographs were taken. In the fall of 1982, measures of perceived scenic beauty were obtained from landowner and student groups, some of whom were informed of the management regime shown in each slide, and some of whom were not informed. Regression modeling indicated that observers paid attention to the amount of standing timber in reaching their judgements about scenic beauty, but that their attention to the standing trees was overpowered visually by the dead and down wood in the photographs. Comparisons showed that landowner groups did not differ from student groups, and that informed observers did not differ from uninformed observers. Implications of the research for silvicultural treatment of hardwood stands and for future research are discussed. Forest Sci. 31:289-301.

Keywords: Scenic quality; landscape preference; private nonindustrial forestry; visual quality prediction

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Biometrics, School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Publication date: June 1, 1985

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