[Tagging] Forest parcel with other landcover (scrub, scree…): how to map?

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Mon Jan 21 17:29:48 UTC 2019

On Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 7:45 AM Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:
> What if we suggest in the wiki that where trees are used for actual forestry people are
> encouraged to dual-tag with landuse=forestry + natural=wood on the basis that with
> enough usage the carto group will render landuse=forestry AND that when they do there
> will be an effort to remove natural=wood when it appears in combination with
> landuse=forestry.  What was I thinking?  That might actually get us somewhere, and we
> wouldn't want to do that.

Your post was dead on target, right up to here -  and the dual-tagging
suggestion is a good one. I do that a lot - precise tagging that
doesn't render combined with imprecise tagging 'for the renderer'. By
this I do not mean tagging falsehoods because they render nicely,
which is unacceptable, but rather tagging features like
'leisure=nature_reserve', which covers anything from the vacant lot
that the city has set aside for birds to the vast tracts of a national
forest. I can try to be accurate with protect_class and the like while
not sacrificing the ability to have the tagged feature show up on

Nevertheless, even if all the intended tags render correctly, there's
nothing wrong with tagging both land USE and land COVER - which are
two different things. One is human and social - "to what use are
people putting this land?" "They're growing trees on it."  The other
is physical, "if I look down on this land from above, what will I
see?" "It's a beaver pond in the middle of a forest."

A landuse=forest[ry] will surely be largely natural=wood and/or
landcover=trees. But forestry is a long game. Near me there are state
forests that are unquestionably managed for production (with public
recreation a secondary goal), that are mostly 'trees', but some
'grass' or 'scrub' (recently acquired parcels, or recently logged
ones), and even some water and wetland (thank you, beavers!).  The
fact that an area is a beaver pond today doesn't mean that it won't
progress through marsh, scrub, laurel meadow, alder thicket, and so on
to forest over the years - and the land is managed for the long haul,
in the expectation of such a succession. Forestry is the land USE -
the land COVER varies. Both are important.

Putting landcover=trees or natural=wood on the pond is wrong. There's
no wood there.  Putting landuse=forest[ry] on the pond may be right.
When the beavers move away, that land will be productive again . In
fact, it will likely be more productive than before they arrived.
There's pretty solid evidence that beavers improve the forest over

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