The Scenic Resources Map will help people get to know and appreciate the scenic beauty of the landscape.  Look at any municipal plan, and you will find that communities value the scenic quality of the landscape.  Yet while these plans are supported by maps of important agricultural soils, underground aquifers, wetlands, forests, and other resources, they often lack maps of scenic resources.  Asking people to identify scenic views is a start toward addressing this information gap.  Knowing what locations or parts of their community are valued for scenic views can allow a community, as it sees fit, to recognize and promote its scenic beauty, consider specific scenic resources in their plans and policies, or identify gaps in information, plans, and tools to conserve scenic resources.  At the Columbia Land Conservancy, this information will help us understand the County’s scenic resources and strengthen our conservation work.

The scenic views you shared are available for viewing publicly online. On request, the locations and information entered into the map will be shared with municipalities, public agencies, or organizations with an interest in promoting or conserving scenic views.  The scenic views might be useful as a starting point for towns or villages working to update a comprehensive plan, or to develop and adopt an inventory of local natural resources.

The Columbia Land Conservancy is using the views you submitted, along with information from an array of other sources, to develop a Scenic Resources Map of Columbia County.  The Scenic Resources Map will include Scenic Areas of Statewide Significance, scenic byways, and locally-designated scenic corridors, plus scenic resources identified in municipal plans (comprehensive plans, for example).  The Scenic Resources Map will be shared on LandScope, a website created by NatureServe and National Geographic, which serves as a conservation guide to our country’s natural places.

The Scenic Resources Map is a joint project of the Columbia Land Conservancy, the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program, and the Hudson River Valley Greenway.  Supporting this project is one way the Hudson River Estuary Program is working to protect and improve the natural and scenic Hudson Valley watershed.  The Hudson River Valley Greenway will compile the Scenic Resources Map with information on scenic resources in other areas of the valley, in furtherance of its commitment to “the preservation, enhancement, and development of the world-renowned scenic, natural, historic, cultural, and recreational resources of the Hudson River Valley.”

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