A woodland and meadow landscape combines a primary topography with secondary elements, features, and structures.
The consistency of any area derives from the features and elements of the surrounding conditions. Here wooded areas of variable sizes are separated by fields. Those fields are either left fallow, or cultivated. An element in this setting is the rolling topography with forests or woodland features. The transportation features are two intersecting roads in the bottom part of the photograph. A woodland and meadow is an apt description of this area because patchy prairie and wooded features are interspersed with few if any water elements save fro a small lake in the center foreground of the photograph.
Landscapes possess inherent limitations that shape whatever opportunities humans derive from the use of the surrounding vegetation, animal life, or available minerals. The different approaches to what landscape offers is suggested in the above table. Material, spiritual and ecological approaches to the landscape differ with respect to what features are considered worthy of using carefully, based on the function people hope to derive from the features and elements of the surroundings.
water values, the functional qualities involved in the timing and distribution of water
by such features as wetlands, bogs, aquifers, lakes, streams, creeks,
springs, recharge areas, flood plains, beaches, swales or swamps.
An artificial reservoir in the Olympic Mountains
provides water for Tacoma.
Mono Lake in the high desert East of the Sierras
provides water for Los Angeles.
forest values, the types, varieties and sizes of tree species their distribution and
intermixing for a variety of uses from habitat for associated species
to watershed protection, timber production, fuel wood or medicinal uses
of related vegetation.
Along the banks of the Columbia River the blanket
of forested land acts as a watershed as well as providing a source of
renewable timber, if wisely harvested.
institutional values, those uses that are identified as common necessities of
society such as schools, hospitals, police, fire, airports, stadiums,
water treatment plants, or railway terminals.
Pictured here is the Grand Teton dam in the
National Park on the Snake River. The dam is used for irrigating sugar
beet fields in arid regions of Idaho.
Hundley writes about the incentives for irrigation in his study of California, The Great Thirst, "Another strong incentive for developing
new farmland in the 1960s came from the federal tax code. It allowed investors
to deduct as business expenses their development costs this prompting
them to rush new fields into production as soon as the water became available." p, 229.
"By the late 1970s, there were 1251
major reservoirs in California, And yet all of those rivers and
reservoirs satisfy only 60 percent of the demand."
" they may well conclude that
our temples were dams."
"As is the case with most western states,
California's very existence is premised on epic liberties taken with water
-- costly water that fell as rain on the north and was diverted to the
south, thus precipitating the state's longest-running political wars."
"In Arizona, 87% of the water consumed goes to irrigation ."