RESOURCES: Boom of Mixed Blessings

On the rolling prairies and in the regal valleys of Wyoming, where there are more cattle (1.4 million) than people (332,000), the standard headgear has long been the ten-gallon Stetson favored by ranch hands. But the Stetsons are now being joined by an increasing number of hard hats worn by coal miners, oil roughnecks, geologists and engineers.

Beneath the state's grazing lands lies the nation's richest treasure of high-quality, easily minable coal that the U.S. badly needs for energy.

The rush to exploit new or neglected energy sources is transforming the ranching...

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