Energy: Bittersweet Boom

THE RUSH FOR OIL FLOODS WYOMING WITH JOBS, BUT IS IT ALSO SPOILING THE LAND?

A third-generation rancher on the windswept prairies of eastern Wyoming, Frank Eathorne doesn't have much time or use for complaining. But one day this spring, he drove 80 miles in his GMC truck with a BUSH-CHENEY bumper sticker to do just that. It wasn't that he minded the oil-and-gas boom currently flooding the state with jobs and royalties. The problem, he told a government panel in a hotel ballroom in Casper, is that the rush to drill in Wyoming is swiping the land right out from under its people.

"When my grandfather bought this place, he thought he owned it," Eathorne said. "He...