Besides being one of the clunkiest verbal coinages imaginable, the word "viewshed" captures much of what is wrong about the Adirondack environmental movement. It's not about preserving and protecting nature, it's about preserving and protecting the ability of people to appreciate nature from their cars and boats.
A recent piece on the Adirondack Explorer website illustrates this:
The piece goes on and on, and addresses some substantive issues, such as pollution from inadequate septic systems. But it also addresses issues without substance, like the subjective appreciation, or lack of it, of cell towers along a highway, and the way houses built on hillsides look when you're gazing up at them from below, perhaps from the deck of your classic wooden boat.
Another frequently mentioned concern of Adirondack environmentalists is how lakeshore houses spoil the look of shorelines, again, presumably, while you're cruising the lake in your motorboat or paddling your canoe.
Subjective judgments about what looks good and what doesn't have nothing to do with preserving and protecting the Adirondack wilderness. While environmentalist commentators are complaining about lakeshore and hillside development, huge strides have been made in the protection of the Adirondack backcountry, through land purchases by the state, over the past 30 years.