value of visual conditions is difficult to deter-
mine on an objective basis, it is an important
of these land uses are necessarily negative. For
example, such limited but intense land uses can
ingredient of the total pleasure of an outdoor
act as a protective buffer for wildlife habitat.
recreation area. There are two principal aspects
to visual conditions: 1; the viewshed and 2; views,
(3) Existing structures. The condition of any
existing structures should be examined, and
both positive and negative. The viewshed is gen-
consideration given to their future use. Besides
erally defined as the visual space in which an
buildings, potentially useful structures include
fences, stone walls, paths, roads, and dams. If
tend beyond the actual area in which the activity
there are already recreation facilities in an area,
occurs. Such physical factors as topography,
they should be reviewed for expansion potential
vegetation and buildings shape the viewshed. To
and future relationships to any new outdoor
the extent that outdoor recreation is more en-
joyable when a sense of separation from other
facilities and activities is present, the viewshed
(4) Utilities. Major utilities which may be
is important. Also important are views into and
required for an outdoor recreation area include
potable water, gasoline, oil, bottled gas, elec-
out of the recreation area. Wherever possible,
tricity, telephone, wastewater treatment, and
recreation areas should take advantage of and
solid waste collection and disposal. Since out-
emphasize good views and vistas. Negative views
door recreation areas are often remote from es-
which encroach upon the viewshed and which
tablished utility systems, and outdoor recreation
c a n n o t be otherwise controlled should be
facilities are often spread out, provision of util-
screened. The design quality of recreation fa-
ities can become an expensive proposition and
cilities also contributes to the aesthetic quality
of recreation activities.
should be faced early in the planning stage. When
existing water supplies are not potable, inves-
(9) Special features. Special features in-
tigation should be made into the availability,
clude rock outcrops, rapids and waterfalls, over-
looks, national and state champion trees, and
quality, and cost of well and surface supplies.
Alternatives for disposal of sanitary wastes may
unusual plant material. Since special features
similarly need to be explored. Federal, state, and
tend to increase aesthetic value and provide ex-
local standards and permit requirements must
tra interest, they should be incorporated in out-
also be investigated.
door recreation areas wherever possible.
(10) Dangers and hazards. Some natural
(5) Special interest areas. Special interest
areas, such as archeological or historical sites,
phenomena pose health and safety problems in
may be considered as an adjunct to recreation.
or near outdoor recreation areas. Natural haz-
ards include: waterfalls and rapids; grass, brush,
Such sites often require special protective meas-
and forest fires; flooding; poisonous plants, in-
ures and limited or controlled access.
sects, and snakes; and bog and quicksand areas.
b. Man-made conditions.
tion all have detrimental impact upon outdoor
( 1 ) Access. As a rule, outdoor recreation
recreation areas. Sources of pollution, including
areas need convenient access which may be pro-
areas considerably removed, may affect an out-
vided by a central location or efficient trans-
door recreation area and should be identified.
portation system. The proximity of an outdoor
Data concerning the amount and severity of pol-
recreation area to housing areas increases use
lution, as well as any proposed control measure,
opportunities and encourages transportation
should also be identified and evaluated.
other than the automobile (e.g., pedestrian, bi-
(7) Dangers and hazards. Several man-made
cycle, bus ). However, balancing the need for
activities and structures pose health and safety
convenient access are the needs for a quality
problems in or near outdoor recreation areas.
natural environment and physical separation
Among the human hazards are: low-flying air-
from other activities.
craft, especially at training fields; railroad
(2) Land use. The significant factors for
crossings; overhead and underground utilities;
evaluation of land use are essentially the same
for on- and off-post. One major difference is mis-
plosives storage; firing ranges; and hunting
sion-related land uses such as training or test-