Visual Impact Assessment Guidebook


Table of Contents


Glossary

Digital terrain models (DTMs) — are three-dimensional topographic models or simulations created by a computer using digital data such as TRIM.

Existing visual condition — is a component of the visual landscape inventory that represents the level of human-made landscape alteration caused by resource development activities in a visual sensitivity unit; expressed as visual quality classes.

Forest development plan — is a document that describes and illustrates how harvesting and road development for a specific area will be managed.

Genius loci — is the intangible quality or characteristic of a landscape that makes it unique and different from any other. It is a combination of elements in the landscape that evoke one’s emotions (also called "spirit of place").

Recommended visual quality class — is a specialist’s recommendation describing the level of alteration that would be appropriate for a visual sensitivity unit; this recommendation considers visual and other resource values.

Road layout and design — specifies the proposed centre-line location of a forest road and its drainage structures, together with the necessary design of the components of the road package; it is consistent with an approved forest development plan and contains information required by the Forest Road Regulation.

Road permit — gives a person the right to construct or modify a road on Crown land to access Crown timber that the person has a right to harvest (e.g., under a forest licence); if Crown timber must be harvested to construct or modify the road, the road permit may also grant the person the right to harvest the timber.

Scenic area — is any visually sensitive area or scenic landscape identified through a visual landscape inventory or planning process carried out or approved by the district manager.

Silviculture prescription — is a plan required under the operational planning regulation that states management objectives and specifies the standards for reforestation and site protection for the area to be harvested.

Visual absorption capability — is a component of the visual landscape inventory that rates the relative capacity of a landscape to absorb visual alterations and still maintain its visual integrity.

Visual force — is an illusion or sensation of movement created by a static image, object, or position of a number of elements in the landscape.

Visual force analysis — is an analysis of landform structure to identify primary, secondary, and tertiary ridge lines and hollows in the landscape for use in visual landscape design.

Visual impact assessment — is an assessment required under the Operational Planning Regulation or Forest Road Regulation that is carried out to demonstrate that timber harvesting operations or road work are consistent with the established visual quality objective for a scenic area. A visual impact assessment simulates, in perspective view, the visual effects on the landscape of proposed timber harvesting operations and road construction or modification operations.

Visual landscape inventory — is the identification, classification, and recording of the location and quality of visual resources; these non-forest resources may be problematic if not managed to the concepts, principles, and practices set out in the visual landscape management process.

Visual quality class (recommended) — is a specialist’s recommendation describing the level of alteration that would be appropriate for a visual sensitivity unit; this recommendation considers visual and other values.

Visual quality objective — is a resource management objective established by the district manager or contained in a higher-level plan; these objectives reflect the desired level of visual quality based on the physical characteristics and social concern for the area.

Visual resource management — is a planning and management process for visual values and resources.

Visual sensitivity class — is a component of the visual landscape inventory that rates the sensitivity of the landscape to visual alteration based on biophysical characteristics, as well as viewing and viewer-related factors.

Visual sensitivity rating — is a component of the visual landscape inventory that estimates the sensitivity of the landscape based on biophysical characteristics and viewing factors; this was replaced by visual sensitivity class in 1997.

Visual sensitivity unit — is a distinct topographical unit as viewed from one or more viewpoints; its delineation is based on the homogeneity of the landform and of biophysical elements.

Visually effective green-up — is the stage at which regeneration on a cutblock is perceived by the public as a newly established forest; forest cover on the cutblock should be of sufficient height to block stumps, logging debris, and bare ground from view; once achieved, an adjacent stand of timber is available for harvest.

 

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