LANDSCAPE MANAGEMEHT FOR ROADSIDES
IN LOGAN CANYON
The management direction for the visual resource in Logan Canyon is provided in
the Wasatch-Cache National Forest "Land and Resource Management Plan." The
plan calls for the canyon to be managed for a Visual Quality Objective (VQO) of
Retention. Retention allows man-made activities to occur which are not
visually evident. This objective guides the extent of activities which can
occur in the canyon. With this in mind, the roadway from Right Fork to Ricks
Springs was evaluated to determine the most sensitive visual areas. The
evaluation was based on possible changes of the existing visual condition on
both sides of the existing highway.
The capacity for the roadside to absorb alternation without losing its visual
character is critical. Therefore, developed criterior to identify capacity for
rating VQO if road construction occurs. The criteria were then applied to
determine an aggregate value for sensitivity and capability to meet objectives.
The following premises were used to develop the evaluation criteria:
Retention of roadside visual character
Any widening of the existing highway will require cut and/or fills on
the edge of the roadway.
Cuts will have a greater visual impact than fills.
Existing cuts and fills with dense vegetation (trees and brush) will
be more difficult to restore than cuts and fills with little or no
The larger the cuts, the greater the visual impact.
Alteration of non-vegetated slopes and raw rock outcrops will not have
a major change on the visual character of a given area.
Existing vegetation between the edge of the highway and river is
classified as riparian (see Forest Plan, page 4-32) and should not be
disturbed. The vegetation provides an important aesthetic unity with
the river as well as providing important Wild life habitat.
Non-vegetated areas between the road and river (rip-rap) are in the
riparian zone. These areas are not as visually important as vegetated
The evaluation is based on the assumption that alterations may occur on either
side of the existing road surface. The capacity for the roadside to absorb
these alterations depends on steepness of cuts, type of vegetation, and
proximity to the Logan River.
A numerical and color system is used to represent the most sensitive visual
areas. The higher the number and darker the color, the more sensitive the
Roadsides with a 0-2 rating can absorb alterations related to road improvement
and still meet Retention VQO.
Roadsides with a 3-5 rating can absorb alterations but will require major
mitigation (retaining walls, bridges, etc.) to meet Retention VQO.
Roadsides with a 6-7 rating cannot absorb alterations and still meet Retention,
due to the high sensitive landscape character.
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