The relative scenic beauty of forest scenes can be quantified. This quantification requires careful questioning of members of the public and theoretically based scaling of the public's responses. Furthermore, relative scenic beauty can be statistically related to the characteristics of forest scenes, allowing a quantitative assessment of the contribution to scenic beauty of trees, forbs, downed wood, and other site characteristics. This research documents and illustrates the methods used to quantify scenic beauty and relate it to forest site characteristics.
Software for analyzing scenic beauty ratings or other rating data, called RMRATE, is available for downloading.
Daniel, Terry C., Thomas C. Brown, David A. King, Merton T. Richards, and William P. Stewart. 1989. Perceived scenic beauty and contingent valuation of forest campgrounds. Forest Science 35(1):76-90.
Brown, Thomas C. 1987. Production and cost of scenic beauty: Examples for a ponderosa pine forest. Forest Science 33(2):394-410.
Brown, Thomas C., and Terry C. Daniel. 1987. Context effects in perceived environmental quality assessment: Scene selection and landscape quality ratings. Journal of Environmental Psychology 7:233-250.
Brown, Thomas C., and Terry C. Daniel. 1986. Predicting scenic beauty of timber stands. Forest Science 32(2):471-487.
Brown, Thomas C. and Terry C. Daniel. 1984. Modeling forest scenic beauty: Concepts and application to ponderosa pine. Research Paper RM-RP-256. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p.
Note: On page 27 the research paper describes a computer program that is available upon request. That program is no longer available and has been superseded by RMRATE.
Daniel, Terry C., and Ron S. Boster. 1976. Measuring landscape esthetics: The scenic beauty estimation method. Research Paper RM-RP-167. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 66 p.