While not a legal requirement, Visual Impact Assessments are an industry standard for forest planning in visually sensitive areas in British Columbia. One aspect of a Visual Impact Assessment is calculating the percent alteration of a particular forest landscape, or visual unit, that would result from harvesting activities. DPI was contacted by a local community in the interior of southwestern BC to help them monitor the forestry activities in their surrounding forest. Specifically, we were asked to generate landscape visualizations to simulate a harvesting plan that claimed to maintain a percent alteration of only 7%.
Some of the strategies that the forest industry uses in order to reduce the visual impact of harvesting include the partial retention of trees rather than complete stand removal, as well as designing smaller-scale cut blocks that are natural and not angular or geometric in shape. If you look carefully, you can find all of these strategies in the visualizations that DPI produced.