Participants needed for research-based auctions

4/4/2008 - By: Natalie Savidge

The University’s Department of Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR) is inviting the public to participate in a research project on auctions. University faculty members are conducting auctions to study methods and motivations, and the results might help increase adoption of wild horses and burros offered at Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auctions.

“For these experiments, we want to recruit approximately 90 to100 adults from the Reno-Sparks area as participants in real auctions designed to examine this question,” said Micheal Price, assistant professor in the Department of Resource Economics.

Participants willing to participate in the study can collect a small payment for attending and will have the opportunity to bid on exciting merchandise such as a 4-gigabyte I-Pod Nano, a JBL On-Stage Micro portable music dock, as well as hiking and wine packages.

A characteristic of rural Nevada is the abundance of wild horses and burros. With an increasing population and economic activity in rural Nevada, conflicts between rural residents and wild horses and burros have become evident. Some residents see wild horses and burros as an asset for current and future rural Nevada tourism development. Others find wild horses and burros to be a nuisance.

In 1971, the U.S. Congress passed the Wild and Free Roaming Act, protecting in perpetuity the wild horse and burros place on the range. To manage the public range, the BLM has developed a program to make available wild horses and burros for adoption. Since passing the Act, more than 200,000 wild horses and burros have been placed in private homes.

Data from more than 40 participants has already been collected from sessions held last month at Bartley Ranch and Rancho San Rafael Park.

“I was very pleased with the sessions,” Price said. “We were able to collect some good data and everyone walked away having enjoyed themselves.”

“I think that participants enjoyed the experience, particularly those who won the goods,” Price said. “Most participants indicated a desire to participate in future studies and to learn more about this current study.”

Two sessions are planned for Saturday, April 5 at the Ranch House in Reno at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. The first session will be conducted from 1-2:30 p.m. and the second from 3 -4:30 p.m. Participants must be 21 years old and may only participate in one session. Call or email Michael Price at (775) 784-1679 or mprice@cabnr.unr.edu to sign up now or for a future session. Make a reservation promptly since space is limited.


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