Patrick Shipsey wanted to take a stand against the folly of Oregon's "open range" law. It allows ranchers to let their cattle roam and forces property owners to build fences if they want to keep them out (HCN, 11/25/96). Shipsey killed 11 of his neighbor's cows after they wandered onto his property once too often. (His fence had been destroyed by elk.) Now he has been convicted of criminal mischief and unauthorized use of livestock and could face jail time, probation, a fine and community service. The Oregon doctor had been planning to plead that he was defending his creekside property from being trampled; the judge barred his attorneys from using that argument. ...


If the Goshute Indian Tribe has its way, Utah could become a gambling state. The tribe wants to build a high-stakes bingo parlor on tribal land. Utah is one of only two states that doesn't allow any form of gambling, and a spokeswoman for Gov. Mike Leavitt says Utah's citizens want to keep it that way. But do they? Every day Salt Lake City residents trek 120 miles to casinos in Wendover, Nev. The Goshutes' casino would be much closer. ...


The judge credited with protecting the Northwest's old-growth forests has announced his retirement. In 1991, U.S. District Judge William Dwyer issued a ban on public-land timber sales in northern spotted owl habitat. Dwyer has Parkinson's disease and has decided to stop working next year, after 10 years on the bench. ...


It is not clear what misconduct Yellowstone National Park's chief ranger is accused of, but he has been temporarily removed from his duties while National Park Service officials investigate whether he did it, says the Billings Gazette. Dan Sholly, who has been chief ranger in Yellowstone for over a decade and is the author of Guardians of Yellowstone, is working on special projects during the investigation.


* Heather Abel