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Bureau of Land Management
Visual Resources

Visual Resources Clearinghouse

The Visual Resources Clearinghouse provides access to key documents concerning U.S. federal government visual resources management (VRM) programs and related research sponsored by U.S. federal government agencies.

The site provides centralized access to:

  • Summaries of federal agency VRM programs and processes;
  • Key agency policy, guidance, and VRM program documents; and
  • Federally-sponsored visual resources research.

Our National Landscapes

As a nation, we have made dramatic steps toward diversifying our energy portfolio. Recent years have seen a rapid increase in utility-scale energy and other development that may cause large scenic impacts to our communities, our treasured scenic, historic, and cultural resources, and our wildlands.

Scenic beauty is an important resource with significant value to Americans, including benefits to human mental and physical health and wellbeing, and benefits to many local and regional economies that are dependent on tourism. As more and larger energy facilities are built, and more pipelines, transmission lines, and roads are built to connect these new energy sources to energy consumers, scenic impacts are on the rise, as are stakeholder concerns about these impacts. Similarly, urban and other development is increasingly reshaping our landscapes, as are other forces, such as climate change and invasive species.

U.S. Federal Agencies and Visual Resource Management

U.S. federal agencies play key roles in permitting and regulating development and in protecting important resources from the environmental impacts of development. These agencies have a range of visual resource management programs and processes they use to inventory, manage, or assess impacts on visual resources from development and land management activities, and to avoid or reduce those impacts through visual impact mitigation.

The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Wyoming State Office has developed the Visual Resources Clearinghouse to provide stakeholders with convenient access to key information and documents relating to visual resource management programs, guidance, and research provided by federal agencies.

Visual Resource Programs OverviewVisual resource programs include methods and tools to inventory and manage landscape scenic resources.
Visual Resource Inventory (VRI)VRI is the identification and documentation of the visual resources present in an area of interest.
Visual Resource Management (VRM)VRM includes the establishment of goals and objectives for the management of visual resources, and actions taken to achieve the objectives.
Visual Impact Assessment (VIA)VIA analyzes potential visual impacts resulting from a proposed project or action.
Visual Impact MitigationMitigation includes actions taken to avoid, minimize, rectify, reduce, or compensate for visual impacts arising from a proposed project or action.