[Talk-us] National Forest "nature_reserve"?

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Thu Jun 4 12:03:43 UTC 2015

stevea <steveaOSM at softworkers.com> writes:

> I tag landuse=forest on National Forests.  If there are any included
> wilderness areas, I tag them leisure=nature_reserve.  Sometimes these
> boundaries can be quite complex via multipolygons, but I try to keep
> it as simple as this, and I seldom get people arguing with these
> tagging conventions.

That seems mostly reasonable, but there are a few subtleties:

  wilderness, if it means what I think, means no numan activity is
  permitted except for hiking and leave-no-trace camping, more or less.
  So that is not landuse=forest (forestry), it's landuse=conservation.

  if there is wilderness that people are not permitted to enter at all,
  then it's still landuse=conservation (and access=no), but it's not
  leisure=nature_reserve.  leisure=nature_reserve is only for areas
  where hiking/etc. is allowed/encouraged and for which the primary
  purpose is to preserve the land in a natural state.  Around me there
  are smallish chunks of land (not big enough to use the wilderness
  word, maybe 10 acres) that people aren't allowed to go onto, and many
  others they are.  I've tagged the non-use ones as just
  landuse=conservation.   Often they are owned by a trust or have a
  conservation easement, but there's no special federal/etc. status.
  So boundary=protected_area feels off (but I haven't slogged through
  the definitions!).

  boundary=protected_area to delineate that some things are prohibited
  within the boundary is ok (although if one is trying to describe the
  interior rather than the boundary, I still think it's semantically
  broken, but that's really a quibble about using the word boundary).
  However, I think most every bit of land, eventually, should have a
  landuse= tag, and that the landuse values should have some sort of
  mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive coverage.

The last point is partly about consistency and ease of data
interpretation.  having landuse on everything means that if you care
about landuse you can just read it.  Otherwise you have to know about
all the various boundary=protected_area subcases and infer what the
landuse is.
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