About
Maps
Walker Research Phase I: 2007-2009
Research Phase II: 2010-2012

Research Products

Mike Collopy
University of Nevada, Reno
mcollopy@unr.edu | (775) 784-8262

Jim Thomas
DRI
jthomas@dri.edu | (775) 673-7305

Walker Basin Project

Wild Horse and Burro Marketing

The project will determine which characteristics of wild horses and burros increase adoption rates. It will also investigate alternative auction procedures which could increase adoption rates and simultaneously increase revenues to support wild horse and burro programs.

Researchers:

From UNR: Thomas R. Harris (Co-PI), Jeffrey E. Englin (Co-PI) and Michael Price (Co-PI), Department of Resource Economics

Updates:

2007: May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December | 2008

May 2007:

We have begun designing the experiments to pilot various formats for auctioning wild horses and burros. Preliminary experiments should be conducted in the next two months. Experiments will be run using participants recruited from the Reno/Sparks area. Commodities sold in these initial pilot experiments will vary in characteristics (as do the horses and burros sold by BLM). Market prices for commodities sold in the pilot experiments are approximately equal to the average winning bids in existing BLM wild horse auction (about $300 to $350). We have begun contacting individuals to visit various BLM adoption centers around the nation to obtain information from BLM personnel who are involved in the auction and adoption of wild horses and burros.

June 2007:

We are continuing to work on the experiments to pilot various formats for auctioning wild horses and burros. Preliminary experiments should be conducted in the coming months. We are collecting information on different wild horse and burro auction/adoption programs around the nation organized by the BLM.

July 2007:

  • We are continuing to work on the experiments to pilot various formats for auctioning wild horses and burros.
    • We are in the process of obtaining the required human subjects approval to start running the auction experiments.
  • We are collecting information on different wild horse and burro auction/adoption programs around the nation organized by the BLM.
    • We have are in the process of contacting the various centers around the country that have conducted such programs to arrange visits to the center and obtain data on existing adoption/auction program.
  • We are in the process of cataloging the laws, regulations and acts both at federal and state level regarding the maintenance, sale, and adoption of wild horses and burros.

August 2007:

The Wild Horse and Burro Marketing Study team continues to work on the experiments to pilot various formats for auctioning wild horses and burros.  The team is in the process of obtaining the required human subjects approval to start running the auction experiments.  The team has designed the relevant experiments and are in the process of coding the necessary computer programs to run the pilots.

In addition, collection of information on different wild horse and burro auction/adoption programs around the nation organized by the BLM is ongoing. The team has identified all BLM auctions scheduled for the next two years.  Based on this information, team members are in the process of contacting the various centers to arrange visits to the center and obtain data on existing adoption/auction programs.

Team is in the process of cataloging the laws, regulations and acts both at federal and state level regarding the maintenance, sale, and adoption of wild horses and burros, and also establishing the contact index of all the BLM branch offices that we would possibly visit in the next two years.

Review of all federal laws and the relevant legislation in Nevada has been completed.

September 2007:

  • We are continuing to work on the experiments to pilot various formats for auctioning wild horses and burros
    • We are in the process of obtaining the required human subjects approval to start running the auction experiments
  • We are collecting information on different wild horse and burro auction/adoption programs around the nation organized by the BLM.  We have identified the date and location for all sales scheduled for the next 18 months. 
    • We have are in the process of contacting the various centers around the country that conducted such programs to arrange visits to the center and obtain data on existing adoption/auction programs
  • We are in the process of cataloging the laws, regulations and act both at federal and state level regarding the maintenance, sale, and adoption of wild horses and burros, and also established the contact index of all the BLM branch offices that we would possibly visit in the next two years. The extension of the collection of the regulations and acts are being implemented, the process aims to reinforce the framework of the research context over the long term.

October 2007:

We are continuing to work on the experiments to pilot various formats for auctioning wild horses and burros.

Of note:

  • In the process of obtaining the required human subjects approval to start running the auction experiments.
  • Have identified the date and location for all BLM wild horse and burro sales scheduled for the next 18 months. 
  • Have initiated the process of contacting the various centers around the country that conducted such programs to arrange visits to the center and obtain data on existing adoption/auction programs.
  • Consolidating the relevant literature on auction design that is most relevant for the current study.  This literature review has highlighted a number of important design issues that we have incorporated into our experiments.
  • Continuing to catalog the laws, regulations and acts both at federal and state level regarding the maintenance, sale, and adoption of wild horses and burros.  The process aims to reinforce the framework of the research context over the long term.

November 2007:

  • We are continuing to work on the experiments to pilot various formats for auctioning wild horses and burros
    • We have submitted the protocol to obtain human subjects approval to start running the auction experiments
  • We are consolidating the relevant literature on auction design and have incorporated important features of these studies into our experimental protocol.   
  • We are continuing to catalog the laws, regulations and acts both at federal and state level regarding the maintenance, sale, and adoption of wild horses and burros.  The process aims to reinforce the framework of the research context over the long term.

December 2007:

No significant developments since the last update.

2008 (view updates)