Aesthetic Impacts of Disturbances on Selected Boreal Forested Shorelines

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Abstract:

This article investigates the aesthetic impacts of anthropogenic and fire disturbances on forested shorelines for most coniferous forest types of the boreal forest. The novel use of the psychophysical landscape-perception approach to near-vista-view shoreline settings makes this application unique. Evaluations of aesthetic quality by laypeople show that severe fire and clearcut-logging disturbances make the forested shorelines much less attractive when compared to undisturbed sites. The analysis also provides a detailed examination of the relationships between undisturbed and logged sites by investigating the relationship between reserve width (i.e., the amount of land that separates the shoreline from logging activities) and aesthetic quality. A regression model of aesthetic evaluations demonstrates that aesthetics is positively related to undisturbed sites, to reserve width, and to the slope of the land. An interaction term of the reserve width and slope of the land is negative, which suggests that the reserve width necessary to mitigate the effects of logging on flat lands is smaller than the reserve width needed to mitigate logging on steeper lands. The model can also be used for predictive purposes such as estimating a reserve width that may be necessary to mitigate all visual effects of logging on shoreline sites. FOR. SCI. 50(5):729–738.

Keywords: ecosystem management; environmental management; forest; forest disturbance; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; logging; natural resource management; natural resources; reserve; scenic beauty; shorelines; visual forest management

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Social Science Analyst Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources 955 Oliver Road Thunder Bay ON Canada P7B 5E1 Phone: (807) 343-4007;, Fax: (807) 343-4001, Email: len.hunt@mnr.gov.on.ca 2: Associate Professor School of Resource and Environmental Management Simon Fraser University 8888 University Drive Burnaby BC Canada V5A 1S6 Phone (604) 291-3066, Email: whaider@sfu.ca

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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