Do Landscape Assessments Need to Account for Environmental Attitudes and Demographics? Scenic Beauty Perceptions of Old-growth and Harvested Forests by Ecotopian Versus Timber Subcultures in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
Ribe, Robert G.
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Ribe, Robert G.
ABSTRACT Differences in informed scenic beauty perceptions, among 504 residents of Oregon, USA, were investigated to see how environmental attitudes, demographics, and old-growth versus harvested forests affected them. Scenic differences dominated explanation of perceptual differences. Attitudes accounted for small marginal differences in perceived scenic beauty if they instigated affects due to landscapes’ scenic content. These affects reversed direction with changes in landscape type. Demographic attributes only related to very small differences in perceived beauty if they were strongly correlated with such affective attitudes. These relationships often reversed or became inoperative with coincident changes in landscapes, attitudes, or other demographic traits. Respondents disagreed about ugly more than beautiful landscapes. Forest protection attitudes were associated with younger people, regional newcomers, urban rather than rural residents, more education, and more income. Forest production attitudes were associated with the opposite traits. Differences in scenic beauty perceptions were associated only with respondents’ ages, regional experience and residential locations. It is generally not worthwhile to account for viewers’ traits in landscape assessments except when attitudes contend with the content of ugly scenery.