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Clearcutting and Visual Quality - A Public Perception Study

Author(s) or contact(s): B.C. Ministry of Forests - Research Branch
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Clearcutting
Series: FRDA Report
Other details:  Published 1996. Hardcopy is available.


This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of public perceptions about the visual impact of clearcuts.
Clearcutting is the predominant method of harvesting in B.C. and an understanding of how clearcutting affects the public's enjoyment of visual resources is important.

This study quantifies the naturalness of various scenes in terms of the percent of the landscape altered, and compares these percent alterations with a sampling of public response to the scenes, as measured by a "public acceptance rating" (PAR). Public acceptance rating, as defined and used in this study, is a measure of the public's "enjoyment of the scenery." PAR does not mean or measure public acceptance or preferences regarding forest management practices or land use decisions.

This study was a standard public perception study. Colour slides were shown to a number of people in each of eight communities. These people rated the appearance of each scene according to how it would affect their enjoyment of it.

The results were collated and analyzed and then documented in "Clearcutting to Meet Visual Quality Objectives: A public perception study." This report provides a summary of the findings and conclusions. More detailed results are available from Recreation Section, Ministry of Forests.
Please note that this report contains a number of technical terms and acronyms which are defined in the glossary (see Section 8.0).

FRDA Research Report 270 (10770 KB)

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FRDA Research Report 270 (10126 KB)

FRDA Research Report 270 (7334 KB)

FRDA Research Report 270 (55434 KB)

FRDA Research Report 270 (7303 KB)

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Updated July 24, 2015