Forest and Range Evaluation Program visual quality monitoring

Objectives for visual quality in scenic areas are stated in the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation, Section 9.2, and are established for scenic areas under the Government Actions Regulation.

On this page:FREP Visual Quality Monitoring


Areas designated as scenic will either have recommended visual quality classes (VQCs) or visual quality objectives (VQOs).  Visual resource management is the deliberate management of forestry activities within scenic areas to ensure that scenic quality expectations of the public, visitors, and other resource users are met. 

The purpose of visual quality monitoring is to determine whether forest practices are meeting desired objectives and whether existing policies and guidelines are resulting in desired objectives being met.

Priority question

Did recently harvested units achieve the established visual quality objective?

How visual quality is evaluated

Visual quality is evaluated in the field at a viewable distance from the harvested cutblock.  Evaluators visit viewpoints to assess the visual impact of a post-harvest forest alteration on a landform. The actual visual quality class (VQC) of the alteration is determined by:

  • analyzing the visual impact
  • assessing any visual design techniques that were utilized
  • calculating the scale of the alteration on the landform

The VQC is then compared to the visual quality objective (VQO) to determine the degree to which the objective was met.