Aesthetics and Visual Resource Collection

    This collection contains research syntheses, applications, and tools to support management of the aesthetic and visual resource effects of wildland fire, smoke, fire effects, and fire management actions.

    Aesthetics and Fuels Management Research Synthesis (PDF)
    "Fuels management, like many other aspects of forest management on public land, can be highly controversial. The public's concern that forest thinning projects will significantly impact the scenic beauty of the forests in which it recreates and resides is often a root cause of this controversy. This report summarizes the existing body of research on aesthetics and forest management, and suggests strategies for managers and planners to use in applying this research information to fuels management. The goal of this report is to help managers reduce fuels hazards in a manner that respects, or even improves, the scenic beauty of the forest." (The author)

    Bibliography of Selected References in Visual Resource Management (PDF)
    "This report is the result of an extensive literature search to determine the knowledge regarding visual resource management, visual assessment, and aesthetics in landscape development (especially, industrial minerals mining and reclamation)." (The author) Many of the reports annotated are relevant to the consideration of visual resource management in fuels and fire management.

    Landscape Change and Aesthetics Fact Sheet (PDF)
    Briefly summarizes the aesthetic effects of a number of landscape "disturbances" including fire and fuels treatments.

    Landscape Preferences in Forested Ecosystems Fact Sheet (PDF)
    "Think you know what most people consider to be a scenic landscape? You might, but research shows that forest managers' opinions about aesthetic beauty often differ from those of the general public." (The author) The fact sheet describes briefly how four major landscape elements that can be affected by fire and fuels treatments influence public aesthetic perceptions of forested ecosystems.

    Prescribed Fire and Visual Quality Fact Sheet (PDF)
    "The impacts of prescribed forest burning on visual quality vary widely, depending on how and when the treatment is carried out, and when visual quality is assessed. Research shows that, while prescribed burning and other fuels treatments can lower visual quality in some situations, they can also improve it in others." (The author)

    Review of Research in Landscape and Woodland Perceptions, Aesthetics and Experience Annotated Bibliography (PDF)
    Research and other reports are reviewed describing human aesthetic response to landscapes. Results are described. Although not specifically applied to fire management, the findings are usually relevant to fire and fuels management projects.

    Strategies for Managing Fuels and Visual Quality Fact Sheet (PDF)
    "An extensive body of research into how management outcomes impact people's sense of forest aesthetics can guide how to plan and manage wildland fire and fuels reduction in ways that are more responsive to visual quality concerns. Prime among the research findings is the importance of involving the public in management decisions, since managers' opinions about aesthetic beauty often differ from those of the general public. Also, members of the general public who lack trust in managers' decisions may want to be more involved in forest planning. Studies suggest a three-part general strategy for managing fuels and visual quality: planning, implementation, and monitoring." (The author)

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