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Environmental Practice

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Human ecology, Washington -- Olympic Peninsula, Cultural services, Landscape values, Geographic information systems -- Citizen participation, Mapping


In order to inform natural resource policy and land management decisions, landscape values mapping (LVM) is increasingly used to collect data about the meanings that people attach to places and the activities associated with those places. This type of mapping provides geographically referenced data on areas of high density of values or associated with different types of values. This article focuses on issues and challenges that commonly occur in LVM, drawing on lessons learned in the US Forest Service Olympic Peninsula Human Ecology Mapping Project. The discussion covers choosing a spatial scale for collecting data, creating the base map, developing data collection strategies, the use of ascribed versus assigned values, and the pros and cons of different mapping formats. Understanding the common issues and challenges in LVM will assist policy makers, land managers, and researchers in designing a LVM project that effectively balances project goals, time and budgetary constraints, and personnel resources in a way that ensures the most robust data and inclusive public participation.


© National Association of Environmental Professionals 2014

This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.

Originally published in Environmental Practice and can be found online at:



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