Subject: Re: Bowermand Basin Boondoggle
Date: May 1 10:39:31 1995
From: "M. Smith" - whimbrel at

On Mon, 1 May 1995, Don Baccus wrote:
> Aren't you jumping to conclusions by calling it a "boondoggle", etc,
> without knowing the details?

I'll quickly agree that I am jumping to a conclusion here. I have no idea
exactly what they have planned. And Don, you are probably right that my
$50K estimate is too conservative. Regardless, the point I was trying to
make is that this seems to be a fine example of grandiose government
projects (and I'm not just griping at the gov't, I happen to work for NBS
so I'm on the same team), and even without the data you requested, anyone
who's done a little fence-building or house maintenance can see that a
million dollars is an outrageous price to pay for something as simple as a
boardwalk. Regardless of what they have planned, the results of saving
marsh vegetation from being trampled could be accomplished at a much lower
price than $1 million. You don't have to have an itemized list of wood
prices, pile-driving quotes, etc., to realize this is way off. I think my
conclusion is quite justified, when you think of the kind of house the
same contractors can build for a million dollars, and how much simpler a
boardwalk is? Isn't that a justifiable conclusion? I won't bore tweets
with lots of details, but can't all of you picture in your heads a fairly
simple solution, a low boardwalk from point A to point B, no frills, and
saving us all a ton of money over the million-dollar option?

I just think (especially in times such as these) that we need to scrutinize
our spending choices, seems like could we could do alot better things for
birds with a million dollars than build a boardwalk.

Michael R. Smith
Univ. of Washington, Seattle
whimbrel at