Measuring the Visible Effects of Harvesting: Calculating Percent Alteration
Authors: Brent Chamberlain, Michael Meitner, Alec Patrizio
As sustainable forest management continues to influence forest planning, managers must find ways to ensure that forests provide for a variety of products and services for people and the environment. In many regions around the world, visual resources deliver opportunities for scenic tourism, increased land values and unique recreational experiences. In these scenic areas, one of the important components of landscape planning is to reduce the visual effects of negative landscape modifications. However, when this is unavoidable landscape planners must be creative in their approach to landscape design. In the forestry sector, this is particularly true of harvesting activities. We propose a tool that uses a combination of a new viewshed algorithm and custom-created scripts to calculate the percent of landscape alteration within an individual's view. This gives planners a way to quickly analyze their proposals without the need to use complex 3D models.