Friday, November 5, 2010

New focus

It seems that one of the Yakama Nation's own members is doing a study on their free-roaming horse problem. Since the tribe will be more likely to allow a member onto the reservation for research, versus a non-tribal member, I've opted to switch my study area.

There was the option of doing a project on any of the other northwest tribes facing horse problems, but since my base knowledge is on feral horses on public lands, it makes more sense to follow that. Also, so much of my undergraduate study was conducted on BLM horses that I'll just be building my thesis on that.  So this is a plus!  I won't have to learn the history of horses and Native Americans - just about the horse history on public lands, which I already know!

One of my professors planted the seed about doing my research with the BLM.  He was concerned that I'd never had any dealings with tribal nation's before and that they may not want to work with me.  It sounds like I probably could have done some sort of project on the other member tribes of the Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition.  However, the reason I'd settled on the Yakama horse herds was because of the close proximity to CWU.  If I'm going to have to drive anyway for my field research, I'd rather go with the for a project with the BLM.  I have, for the most part, already done a lot of research in this area.

My new proposal, for now, is to find out what conflicts or issues the Oregon BLM might be having with any of their horse herds. I'd like to learn if there is a study they haven't done, but would like to see researched.

Wish my luck in my efforts to contact people in pinpointing a research problem for my thesis!

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