This study explored public preferences for forest landscapes with varying levels of alteration. Results of a photo-questionnaire administered in the east and west Kootenays indicated that preferences are affected most by the presence or absence of highly visible alteration, and second by the drama of the landscapes. Dramatic landscapes (largely more vertical and complex) were more preferred than less dramatic ones. A high degree of correlation was found between these preferences and the B.C. Forest Service Visual Quality Objective ratings. In attitudes toward forest management, respondents felt that environmental quality was the most important factor to consider, followed by scenic quality and economics. Overall, the relationships between visual preferences and expressed attitudes did not follow any clear pattern.
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Updated November 28, 2008