Army Corps of Engineers is one of the major civil works
organizations in the US - if not the largest.
behind the construction of the TVA, etc. Principally, they
are involved with water management projects - dams,
projected dam was to be in the Missouri/Ozarks region and
the Corps was doing the reputed "cost/benefit
the CE personnel was in the area doing some 'field
evaluations' for the project and came upon one of the local
'howdies, etc' the farmer asked what the CE was doing there
- and it was explained to him that the first step was to
count all the plusses and minuses in this cost/benefit study
and see whether the project was worthwhile. The CE fellow
explained the intangibles like water recreation, family
displacement because of the coming reservoir, etc. and made
it clear how difficult the process was.
farmer puffed on his corn cob pipe and thought a bit - and
said - "you know, we have a similar method around these
parts - - if we want to know how much an old sow weighs, we
get a long pole and put it over a fence - then we put the
sow on one end and pile stones on the other until the pole
is just level - then we guess how much the stones
the Resources Management Seminar in the School of Natural
Resources/University of Michigan/Ann Arbor - Professors
Ayers Brinser and Lee Martin.