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Changes and Challenges in USDA Forest Service Scenic Resource Management Under the 2012 Forest Planning RuleAuthor(s): Nancy A. Brunswick
Source: In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. 2018. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 24-30.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (102.0 KB)
DescriptionIn 2012, the USDA Forest Service released a new planning rule that called for fundamental changes in how scenic resources are to be addressed during the forest plan revision process. While the original 1982 rule relied on expert-based assessments of scenic resources described in the Forest Service's 1974 Visual Management System (VMS), the new rule mandates defining valued "scenic character" on the basis of the 1995 replacement for VMS, the Scenery Management System (SMS). In SMS, scenic character is established in part through a constituent analysis that involves assessing stakeholder perceptions of aesthetic quality, landscape values, and an understanding of special places. This paper explores the differences between the two systems and the challenges of integrating expert and stakeholder assessments as forests prepare for plan revision. A process for this change to the new system is outlined based on a 2015 workshop convened in the Forest Service's Intermountain Region. This process specifies essential activities but provides a forest planning team with flexibility with respect to particular needs, personal style, and available resources.
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CitationBrunswick, Nancy A. 2018. Changes and Challenges in USDA Forest Service Scenic Resource Management Under the 2012 Forest Planning Rule. In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. 2018. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 24-30.
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