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Pacific Southwest Research Station
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Title: Assessing public concern for landscape quality: a potential model to identify visual thresholds
Author: Magill, Arthur W.
Source: Res. Paper PSW-RP-203. Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 48 p
Station ID: RP-PSW-203
Description: Considerable public criticism and sometimes legal obstructions have been directed toward landscape management in relation to the extraction of natural resources. Many managers do not understand public concerns for visually attractive resources. Managers need to know when landscape alterations, like clearcuts, attract public attention and become visually objectionable. A study assessed the opinions of groups of people, representing various organizations, using color slides to simulate views of managed and natural landscapes. Of 63 management actions, 43 were not detected by more than half of the people. Only 31 percent of the management actions were reported by 50 percent or more of the respondents, and large, near actions were not reported any more frequently than small ones. A model was prepared to identify visual thresholds where people might first detect an action without knowing what they were seeing, and finally receive enough information for them to identify the action. Small numbers of respondents detected management actions and fewer identified them, but their responses demonstrated the existence of detection and identification thresholds as well as concern for the environment.
Key Words: landscape management, public concern, resource management, sensitivity levels, visual impacts, visual thresholds
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Magill, Arthur W. 1990. Assessing public concern for landscape quality: a potential model to identify visual thresholds Res. Paper PSW-RP-203. Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 48 p.
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