Don't Fence Us In

For family ranchers, higher grazing fees are just the latest hardship to blow across the plains

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...

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