Scenery Management System (SMS)

autumn colors surrounding Fairview Lakes

Scenery Management System Overview

What is the Scenery Management System? The Scenery Management System provides an overall framework for the orderly inventory, analysis, and management of scenery.

What is the purpose of the Scenery Management System?  It is a tool for integrating the benefits, values, desires, and preferences regarding aesthetics and scenery for all levels of land management planning.

How do we develop the Scenery Management System product? The SMS process is guided by the agriculture handbook number 701 (Landscape Aesthetics - A Handbook for Scenery Management). This handbook defines a system, referred to hereafter as the Scenery Management System, for the inventory and analysis of the aesthetic values of National Forest Lands. This process involves identifying scenery components as they relate to people, mapping these components, and developing a value unit for aesthetics from the data gathered.

Click here to view "Landscape Aesthetics - A Handbook for Scenery Management"

The Scenery Management System process consists of five inventory products, and a final product.

Inventories [Landscape Aesthetics, USFS, 1995]:

  • Description of the Landscape (Scenic) Character: "Particular attributes, qualities and traits of a landscape that give it an image and make it identifiable or unique."
  • Scenic Attractiveness: "The scenic importance of a landscape based on human perceptions of the intrinsic beauty of landform, rockform, waterform, and vegetation pattern."
  • Concern Levels:  "Are a measure of the degree of public importance placed on landscapes viewed from travel ways and use areas."
  • Distant Zones: "Landscape areas denoted by specific distances from the observer. Used as a frame of reference in which to discuss landscape attributes for the scenic effect of human activities in the landscape."
  • Scenic Integrity (Existing Integrity): "...measure of the wholeness or completeness of the landscape, including the degree of visual deviation from the landscape character valued by constituents."

Final Product:

  • Scenic Integrity Objectives (Desired Condition): "...the desired state of "intactness" for various landscapes across the Forest. As with all Forest Plan Desired Conditions, they become the target condition for which all subsequent site-specific projects must move the landscape toward." [Intermountain Region Guidance, USFS, 2006]

SMS Reference Materials: