Range wars. As settlers advanced into cattle country, a conflict was inevitable between the farmers who fenced their land with barbed wire and sought to control water sources and the ranchers whose livelihood depended on keeping the range open. But the so-called range wars also pitted cattlemen against sheepherders (sheep were notorious for eating grasses down to the stubble so that the land was unsuited for cattle grazing) and cattle barons against smaller ranchers. In what was known as the Johnson County War (1892), the Wyoming Stock Growers Association hired gunmen to get rid of small operators accused of stealing cattle. The collapse of the cattle kingdom. A combination of factors brought an end to the cattle kingdom in the 1880s. The profitability of the industry encouraged ranchers to increase the size of their herds, which led to both overgrazing (the
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