Managing the Viewshed

ESA, Inc. has contracts where we assist our clients with vegetation management compliance issues within resource protection area (RPA) and critical area commission (CAC) buffers.  These buffers are designed to protect sensitive waterfront properties with expanded natural areas that must be retained in forest cover.

Regulations do allow for invasive plant management, the removal of hazardous or malformed trees, management of briars, some native vines and poison ivy, selective removal of down and dead wood, sanitation pruning, the judicious lifting of tree limbs to allow for modest openings for line-of-sight enhancements, vista and viewshed clearing, and supplemental planting of native trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses.

Most all local authorities allow waterfront land owners access to their waterfronts with piers, trails, paths, service roads, steps, stairs, decking, landings, elevators, and buried utility lines such as water and electricity for lighting, boat lifts and fish cleaning stations.  Some authorities allow for small boat related storage sheds and/or forms of pier improvements.

Manipulations within sensitive area buffers typically require buffer management plans and other permits to be in compliance, all services that ESA provides.

A unique issue that we have just addressed is retaining a few aggregates of non-native bamboo for a waterfront estate, where the client would like to retain some of the bamboo as a living fence to block a few lines of sight along the property perimeter.  An ESA subcontractor cut back a few to several feet of bamboo along perimeters, trenched the bamboo roots and installed 900-feet of root barrier fencing to confine three specific aggregates.

The product used is known as DeepRoot Tree Root Guides, a thick, inter-locking, flexible plastic wall that denies root migration.

Later this season herbicides will be applied to any new bamboo regrowth, outside of the perimeter root barrier fencing.  The end product will be well behaved and tidy aggregates of bamboo, as a compliment to the overall landscape, while providing the desired screening.