Rural outposts disappearing

Gas stations, restaurants and other roadside services are falling to the economy.

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The travel slowdown and the suffering timber industry are contributing to a significant decline in rural roadside stops like gas stations and restaurants.

Such is life for some of Oregon’s rural outposts. Already in decline since the timber industry’s collapse in the 1980s and ’90s, many towns have now been stripped of gathering spots and vital services. The recession, contributing to a falloff in travel, isn’t helping any.

“All these communities are feeling the downturn,” says Rick Minster of the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department in John Day.

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