Scenery Management System (SMS)

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Appendix J and Scenic Stability Related

Forest Planning Inventory and Setting Objectives

Overview of System

Project Planning

Viewshed and Seen Area Related


Advanced Topics in Visual Resource Impact Assessment- Symposium and Training > NAEP Presentation, 2012

Black Hills National Forest SMS Handbook > A good example of a forest transitioning from the old VMS system to the SMS system. US Forest Service. 

Landscape Aesthetics: A Handbook for Scenery Management (SMS) >The Scenery Management System (SMS) presents a vocabulary for managing scenery and a systematic approach for determining the relative value and importance of scenery in a national forest. This handbook was written for national forest resource managers, landscape architects, and others interested in landscape aesthetics and scenery.    

Scenery Analysis Templates and Examples > Three different templates and two examples are posted here to meet the diverse needs of SMS practitioners.  The templates originated from nationwide evaluations of the 1995 Scenery Management System, guided by USFS Chief Landscape Architect Ramiro Villalvazo and leading SMS practitioners across the county between 2006 and 2009.  The templates were developed to help projects meet the NEPA requirements to protect “aesthetic” resources (Sec. 101(b)) and apply the “environmental design arts” (Sec 102(a)), as well as to implement Forest Service Manual 2380 direction (to routinely conduct scenery assessments for all activities that may affect scenic resources, in order to attain the highest possible scenic quality commensurate with other public uses, costs and benefits).  It should be noted that projects being evaluated under Forest Plans based on the 1974 Visual Management System may apply these templates, but must at the same time be responsive to all scenery/visual resource direction contained within or adopted by those Forest Plans.


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