Post Office Will Stop Wilderness Deliveries

Remote Idaho area too expensive to get to; residents are at a loss
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 2:26 PM CDT
One of the three ways to get to the remote Fort Church area of Idaho is a two-day boat ride on the Salmon River.   (©Clockworks)
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(Newser) – Neither rain nor sleet nor snow ... but remote location will keep the US Postal Service from delivering mail to the Idaho wilderness starting June 30, NPR reports. Faced with a $6 billion deficit, the mail carrier is cutting back across the board, and that includes the last airstrip service in the lower 48, whose 20 deliveries across hundreds of square miles cost  $44 per week cost per customer—close to 10 times the national average.

"I hate to see it end," says the owner of a ranch along the route: The only other way it can get mail is by 2-day river trip or a 26-mile drive down a "bone-jarring" road followed by a four-mile hike. The ranchers, outfitters, and researchers who live in Idaho's backcountry will have to pick up their letters themselves at the post office in Cascade—meaning many of them will need a plane of their own to get their mail.