Rural

There are some towns in the Northwest that are so small, nearly everybody is a politician.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

It’s easy to hear the pride in Randy Jewett’s voice when he talks about his school’s football heritage. He stands in Camas County High School in Fairfield, and points to class pictures that line the main hallway. He says in the 1970s, the Mushers were regulars in the state championship. 

Avery, Idaho, Rural
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Take a drive down any highway in the Northwest, and you'll pass signs for dozens of small towns. There are more than 700 cities under 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Many of these towns came about because of railroads or timber or mines and now they’re trying to figure out what comes next.

It's nearly 2:15 in Avery, Idaho. The mail has arrived. And the post office is about to become the busiest place in town.

Is Idaho Really In The Middle Of Nowhere?

Jul 8, 2013
Vizual Statistix

Idahoans (or really anyone who lives in the rural west) often joke they live in the middle of nowhere.  As it turns out, parts of Idaho really are in the middle of nowhere – at least according to Vizual Statistix.

New numbers out Monday show Idaho's rural areas experienced the post-recession years very differently from the state's cities. While places like Boise and Pocatello were on the mend, economic output in rural communities in Idaho declined.

Northwest's Rural Gay Community Coming Out Of The Shadows

Nov 27, 2012

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Washington legalizes same-sex marriage next month at a time when the geography of the Northwest’s gay and lesbian population is changing. Their numbers are still largest in metropolitan areas. But if you look for the biggest increases – that trend is happening in small towns and rural areas. In Idaho more gay and lesbian couples are making a choice that was once unthinkable in rural areas -- they’re living openly.

Joe Palisano is used to a certain kind of reaction when he tells people where he lives.

Struggling Football Teams Want 6-Man Option

Oct 22, 2012
Idaho High School Activities Association

Some small high schools in Idaho are having trouble filling their football rosters this fall. But the answer could be found in a proposal to add 6-man football as an option for rural schools.

A Rancher, A Logger, And Economic Fate In Rural Idaho

Jul 11, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

In Idaho, the timber and ag industries are heavy hitters.  They play big roles in the state’s history and identity.  But the recession has dealt them different hands, dividing rural Idaho into winners and losers.  StateImpact Idaho takes a look at two industries, two counties, and two economic fates. 

Rural Idaho Continues To Shrink

Apr 6, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Rural Idaho counties are becoming, well, rural-er.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show populations continue to decline in rural parts of the state.

Census numbers released this week look at population movement between 2010 and 2011.  According to the Idaho Department of Labor’s analysis, more counties lost population over that year than at any other time since the 1980s.  Continue reading...

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