Cabezon Creek WSA, NM
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Reducing Unnecessary Disturbance

As a general rule, reducing the amount of land disturbed during the construction of a project reduces the extent of visual impact.

Techniques that help reduce surface disturbance include:

  • Colocating several projects within the same right-of-way.
  • Placing underground utilities either along the edge or under the surface of an existing road.
  • Placing several underground utilities within the same trench.
  • Establishing limits of disturbance that reflect the minimum area required for construction.
  • Consolidating development of a similar nature within a common structure.
  • Planning projects so that they utilize existing infrastructure whenever possible.
  • Maximizing slope when it is aesthetically and technically appropriate.
  • Locating construction staging and administrative areas in less visually sensitive areas.
  • Requiring restoration of disturbed areas no longer required after construction has been completed

Following are some examples of unnecessary disturbance and reduction of unnecessary disturbance:

 Click on the following images to see a larger image


Clearcutting on this prominent feature creates strong contrasts and attracts attention from this critical viewing point.
There is a notable difference in the disturbed areas for these two similar gas well developments.
Consolidation of communications facilities reduces the amount of visual sprawl.




Downslope wasting of excess material dramatically increases the size of the visual scar.
The poor location of this gas well pad creates excessive disturbance and strong contrasts in this landscape.
This pipeline location avoids the wooded area and minimizes disturbance.