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Title: Managed and natural landscapes: what do people like?
Author: Magill, Arthur W.
Source: Res. Paper PSW-RP-213. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 28 p
Station ID: RP-PSW-213
Description: Visitors to wildland areas of the United States see an untold variety of natural and manmade features that comprise our national landscape. Efforts to assess public perceptions and concerns about the land and its management led to development of sensitivity levels that were presumed to be a measure of viewer concern for what they saw in the landscape. Sensitivity levels, however, measured frequency of visitor presence along travel routes, not visitor concern. A study was done to identify what people saw in slides of managed and unmanaged landscapes and to determine whether they liked what they saw. On a questionnaire most people reported natural landscape features such as trees, mountains, and open spaces and liked seeing them. Forest stands were the most frequently reported object and were liked. Roads were the most frequently reported management action and were disliked. Clearcuts were the management actions reported second most frequently, but were disliked more than 30 percent more often than were roads. Treatments to "green" various management disturbances should reduce their negative visual impact. Misinterpretation of what was seen in various landscapes by respondents suggests a need for more interpretive programs to improve public understanding of management. Respondents' strong disliking of clearcuts may be one more warning that timber harvesting practices should be changed to avoid continued public criticism.
Key Words: environmental perception, landscape management, public concern, resource management, verbal responses, visual sensitivity
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Magill, Arthur W. 1992. Managed and natural landscapes: what do people like? Res. Paper PSW-RP-213. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 28 p.