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Utilizing Visual Resource Management to Assess Effects on Historic Properties; Working within the BLM VRM Framework

Author(s): Sarah Morgan

Year: 2015

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This paper will provide an overview of using the established Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Visual Resource Management (VRM) system to assess indirect visual effects on historic properties. Per Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the introduction of visual elements that diminish the integrity of the property’s significant historic features constitutes an adverse effect. The VRM system was designed to inventory landscapes, identify those with high scenic values worth protecting, and use Contrast Rating to determine if proposed projects or actions would be within the range of acceptable change to the landscape. Though VRM was not designed to measure effects on historic properties, by using the Contrast Rating portion of the VRM system, potential changes, which may constitute adverse effects, to the landscapes and settings of historic properties can be identified and quantified. With the introduction of BLM guidelines in 2012 for the management of National Trails, quantifying potential adverse visual effects to National Historic Trails, in addition to effects on other site types, is becoming more common as part of CRM.

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Utilizing Visual Resource Management to Assess Effects on Historic Properties; Working within the BLM VRM Framework. Sarah Morgan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398127)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America