Lyon County recently received a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to complete an economic feasibility study for the proposed National Wild Horse and Burro Visitor and Adoption Center in Mound House.
The $44,000-plus grant will hire economists to determine the viability of constructing and operating the proposed center.
"As important as we feel the center will be in educating people about wild horses and burros and assisting with the state's and BLM's adoption programs, it is also important for us to understand the financial costs and benefits of building and operating such a facility," said Lyon County Commissioner Bob Milz.
"Given its close proximity to Virginia City and the future V&T Railroad, as well as the international appeal of America's wild horses, we view the center project as an important tourism facility for Lyon County. The study will help us to quantify those benefits."
Dr. Tom Harris, director for the UNR Center for Economic Development, and his staff will conduct the study. Also contributing funds is the National Wild Horse Center, Inc., the nonprofit organization founded to oversee the planning and construction of the center.
Executive Director Meg Getty said, "We are grateful to USDA for making this grant for the project, as we view the study as a critical first step in making the center a reality in Northern Nevada," she said.
Getty said the study would take four to six months.