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    Author(s): Nancy Diaz; Dean Apostol
    Date: 1992
    Source: R6 ECO-TP-043-92. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (4.0 MB)


    This publication presents a Landscape Design and Analysis Process, along with some simple methods and tools for describing landscapes and their function. The information is qualitative in nature and highlights basic concepts, but does not address landscape ecology in great depth. Readers are encouraged to consult the list of selected references in Chapter 2 if they wish a more extensive background.

    There are many unanswered questions about how landscapes operate as ecological systems. Those who attempt to carry out the Landscape Analysis and Design Process should expect to identify a number of information needs that simply cannot be met. For example, little is known about how individual wildlife species respond to landscape patterns, and how much flexibility there is in landscape level habitat needs. There is also incomplete understanding of the role of connectivity in landscapes, and how corridors do or don’t function. In spite of this, there ARE data, inferences and interpretations that SHOULD be used as development of landscape patterns in National Forests continues.

    The examples presented are for forests west of the Cascade crest. The information is probably generic enough to be extrapolated to most National Forest landscapes. The greatest exception will be flat landscapes, where relationships between vegetation and landforms are subtle. In these areas it may be difficult to apply the spatial design step of the process, since it depends heavily on landforms.

    The strategy presented is intended to be in harmony with existing policies, direction, Forest Plan Standards and Guidelines, and land allocations. In some cases analysis of landscape relationships might indicate desirability of changing the Forest Plan land allocation of a particular management area to better meet stated objectives or standards/guidelines. In that instance, it is appropriate for the Forest Plan adjustment process to be invoked. However, the Landscape Analysis and Design Process should initially be viewed as a means of implementing current direction, not changing it.

    This document purposely avoids making recommendations about the level of detail, size of area, scope of analysis, amount of quantification, and other details. These items must be determined in light of the characteristics of individual analysis areas and the needs of individual planning teams. Rather than attempt to force uniform application of the specifics, it is the LOGIC of the process that will be emphasized:

    1) that the landscape be understood as an ecological system,

    2) that that understanding is used along with existing direction and local issues to derive objectives about landscape pattern, and

    3) that the spatial design of that pattern be used to inform and evaluate the progressive implementation of land management strategies.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Diaz, Nancy; Apostol, Dean. 1992. Forest landscape analysis and design: a process for developing and implementing land management objectives for landscape patterns. R6 ECO-TP-043-92. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region.


    Forest landscape analysis and design, land management

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