There's a predator stalking the plains
Who removes any reasonable doubt
That the government is bound and determined
To drive every cattleman out.
-- Baxter Black, cowboy poet
Western ranchers came streaming into Washington last week, string ties hoisted, hats as wide as the plains, boots gleaming. But they were jumpy and angry. And in the shadowy halls of the Capitol and the Interior and Agriculture Departments, they listened and argued about Bill Clinton's proposal to raise prices on government land and resources.
Wright Dickinson, 32, fourth-generation cattleman, lean as a post, had one troubled eye on the weather reports of...