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Aesthetics: Are We Neglecting a Critical Issue in Certification for Sustainable Forest Management?

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Abstract:

Current forest certification programs may be neglecting aesthetics and related public perception and acceptance issues, concentrating on more easily quantified socioeconomic and ecological criteria. Because aesthetics is an important value for forest users, and to avoid potential conflicts between certification status and public perception, we suggest that forests should be certified for aesthetic performance. Current forest certification programs weakly address aesthetics, if at all. Those systems that do consider aesthetics tend to be procedural rather than outcomes-based and generally do not encourage solid or consistent approaches to the problem. Visual resource management approaches provide some precedents that are not as yet widely used in certification, but they also have their limitations. We recommend that more effort be put into developing more robust indicators for aesthetics as part of certification programs.

Keywords: environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; public perceptions; third-party certification

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Faculty of Forestry and Director Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning, Department of Forest Resources Management and Landscape Architecture Program University of British Columbia 2045-2424 Main Mall Vancouver Canada V6T 1Z4, Email: shep@interchange.ubc.ca 2: Planner City of Surrey British Columbia Canada 3: Consulting Ecologist Nelson British Columbia Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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