Visual Management

Keeping scenic highways scenic

Clearcuts along Oregon’s popular scenic highways have never been popular with the public, tourists or those who cater to tourists. Private forestland adjacent to any one of Oregon’s 29 designated scenic highways face additional rules to help preserve a forested view from the road.

Truck driving through woods
Forest management along Oregon’s 29 designated Scenic Byways and Tour Routes requires special considerations for aesthetics.

Visual guidelines for logging near scenic highways

Two-stage visual buffer: A timber harvest along a scenic highway must include a buffer of trees 150 feet wide along the roadside, with at least 50 trees per acre. When new trees planted behind the buffer have grown to at least 10 feet tall, trees in the original buffer may be harvested. Alternatively, a landowner can choose to do the reverse. Either way, the harvest must happen in two parts.

Debris: Logging residuals from a timber harvest along a scenic highway must be removed within 30 days.

Reforestation: In a scenic corridor, replanting new trees to replace those cut down must happen within one year of harvest, rather than the usual two years.