Using Image Capture Technology to Assess Scenic Value at the Urban/Forest Interface: A Case Study
Journal of Environmental Management
Urban expansion to the edge of managed forest lands is creating new problems for resource managers as home owners protest at the effects of timber management. Strategies to resolve urban/forest interface conflicts require that all participants are equally informed about the impacts of silvicultural alternatives. In cases where scenic values are a prime consideration, computer "image-capture" technology (ICT) offers opportunities to level the information base, especially when experimental or non-traditional forestry practices are being considered. This paper describes a pilot study in which forest-adjacent home owners in Oregon viewed ICT-generated slides simulating the view from their own homes if various silvicultural practices were used on the adjacent forest. The study sought to evaluate the utility of ICT for displaying possible localized impacts of timber management, and to determine whether adjacent land owners would express willingness to pay for scenic easements. The method showed promise, although generating slides for individual home sites was cumbersome. A majority of land owners were willing to pay for scenic-protection measures that would restrict timber-harvest options on adjacent properties.
Johnson, R.L., M. Brunson and T. Kimura. 1994. Using image capture technology to assess scenic value at the urban/forest interface: A case study. Journal of Environmental Management 40:183-195.