Visual Sensitivity Classifications

This page last updated: 10/06/2014
Metadata created using Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines


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1. Overview
2. Data Quality
3. Data Organization
4. Coordinate System
5. Attributes
6. Distribution - Get Data
7. Metadata Reference

Section 1 Overview
Originator Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Title Visual Sensitivity Classifications
Abstract

A concern for visual quality

Minnesota forests are particularly vital to the health of two industries: tourism and forest products. While many of the demands on the forests from these two industries are compatible and even complementary, concern about the specific impacts of various forest management practices on visual quality became the focus for a positive dialogue tourism and forest products industries.

In the fall of 1990, representatives of the Minnesota Resort Association and the Minnesota Forest Industries began meeting to address the issue of visual quality. A Timber and Tourism Steering Committee was formed to enhance communication, promote understanding and continue to discuss common concerns. Under the leadership of the Steering Committee, public and private forestry interest came together and developed a set of visual quality guidelines.

Visual Sensitivity Classification

The visual quality guidelines recognized the fact that not all travel routes have the same level of visual sensitivity. To implementation of the visual quality guidelines, classification of the visual sensitivity of highways, roads, designated recreation trails, lakes, and rivers in forested areas was required.

County Visual Quality Committees were formed to classify travel routes within their counties. The county committees were made up of county residents that represented tourism and forest products industries and interests. Three factors were used in the classification process:
- The perceived degree of sensitivity of users of a travel route or recreation area concerning landscape aesthetics.
- The volume and type of use a travel route or recreation area receives.
- The speed of travel within a route or area.

The levels of visual sensitivity are:

Most sensitive - Applies to travel routes and areas where significant public use occurs and where the visual quality is of high concern to typical users. Examples of such routes may include public highways, local roads, recreational lakes and rivers, and designated recreational trails and areas that provide a high level of scenic quality.

Moderately sensitive - Applies to travel routes or recreation areas, not included in Level 1, where visual quality is of moderate concern to typical users. Examples of these routes and areas may include public highways and local roads, recreational lakes and rivers, and designated recreational trails that provide moderate to high scenic quality but less significant public use.

Less sensitive - Applies to travel routes or recreation areas, not included in Levels 1 or 2, where visual quality is of less concern to typical users. Examples of these routes may include public highways and low-volume local forest roads, nondesignated trails, and nonrecreational lakes and rivers.
Purpose Visual sensitivity classifications have been completed in 16 counties where timber and tourism interests are a very important part of the life and economy of the counties.

Visual sensitivity classifications help the landowner, resource manager and logger choose visual quality guidelines that are appropriate to the visual sensitivity as identified by the county visual quality committees. Visual quality guidelines used in an area classified as "most sensitive" would be different than guidelines used in an area classified as "less sensitive."

An example: In areas classified as "most sensitive," landings should be avoided within view of travel routes or recreation areas. However, in areas classified as "less sensitive," landings may be visible, but placing landings in the travel right-of-way should be avoided.
Time Period of Content Date Fall 1990
Currentness Reference
Progress Complete
Maintenance and Update Frequency None Planned
Spatial Extent of Data Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mille Lacs, Pine, St. Louis
Bounding Coordinates -97.23
-89.53
49.37
43.5
Place Keywords Minnesota
Theme Keywords visual sensitivity
Theme Keyword Thesaurus
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints None
Contact Person Information Dick Rossman,
Minnesota DNR - Forestry
3296 State Park Road NE
Bemidji, MN  56601
Phone: 218-308-2371
Email: dick.rossman@state.mn.us
Browse Graphic Click to view a data sample
Associated Data Sets

Section 2 Data Quality
Attribute Accuracy
Logical Consistency
Completeness
Horizontal Positional Accuracy
Lineage

Section 3 Spatial Data Organization (not used in this metadata)

Section 4 Coordinate System
Horizontal Coordinate Scheme Universal Transverse Mercator
UTM Zone Number 15
Horizontal Datum NAD83
Horizontal Units meters
Cell Width 30
Cell Height 30

Section 5 Attributes
Overview Visual Sensitivity Classification definitions for each of the 3 levels of sensitivity were defined for each county, so the exact text description of each rating is provided in the attribute table.
Detailed Citation
Table Detail:
visual_sensitivity
Field NameValid ValuesDefinitionDefinition Source
VSCenumeratedVisual Sensitivity Classification Rating
1High
2Moderate
3Low
0Unclassified
county
-
County Name
vs_description
-
Visual Sensitivity Classification Descriptionby county


Section 6 Distribution
Publisher Minnesota DNR - Forestry
Publication Date 02/03/2014
Contact Person Information Zeb Thomas, GIS Data Contact
Minnesota DNR - MIS/GIS Unit
500 Lafayette Rd
Saint Paul, MN  55155
Phone: 651-259-5637
Email: zeb.thomas@state.mn.us
Distributor's Data Set Identifier env_visual_sensitivity
Distribution Liability The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources General Geographic Data License Agreement is online: www.dnr.state.mn.us/sitetools/data_software_license.html
Ordering Instructions Please visit the download page for this dataset on the Minnesota Geospatial Commons website using the web link below (Online Linkage).
Online Linkage I AGREE to the notice in "Distribution Liability" above. Clicking to agree will either begin the download process or link to download information. See "Ordering Instructions" above for details.

Section 7 Metadata Reference
Metadata Date 10/06/2014
Contact Person Information Dick Rossman,
Minnesota DNR - Forestry
3296 State Park Road NE
Bemidji, MN  56601
Phone: 218-308-2371
Email: dick.rossman@state.mn.us
Metadata Standard Name Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines
Metadata Standard Version 1.2
Metadata Standard Online Linkage http://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/committee/standards/mgmg/metadata.htm


This page last updated: 10/06/2014
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