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Rural Counties Adopt Code of the West

Cathy Duchamp
05/22/2007

Agricultural land has given way to housing developments and hobby farms across the Northwest. Some rural counties want to help newcomers prepare for dusty roads, farm aromas and spotty cell phone services. So they've published what's become known as the 'Code of the West.' Correspondent Cathy Duchamp reports.

THE SOUTH–EAST IDAHO COUNTY OF MADISON PUBLISHED ITS CODE OF THE WEST LAST WINTER. THE JIST OF IT COMES ON THE LAST PAGE. IT READS: [NEWCOMERS] BELIEVE THEY CAN FAX AND EMAIL FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP. THEN THEY REALIZE THAT UP HERE, THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY IS A DIRT ROAD.

KIM: "I like that too, that's a really good remark, especially that last line. "

JORDAN KIM REVIEWS A LOT OF GUIDELINES FOR URBAN TRANSPLANTS THESE DAYS. GRIST FOR THE GUIDE TO RURAL LIVING SHE'S WRITING FOR THE HOOD RIVER SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT. THERE, NEWBIES HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE ALONGSIDE ORCHARDS, WHERE WORKERS MIGHT FIRE UP SMUDGE POTS AT TWO IN THE MORNING, TO FEND OFF FROST:

KIM: "They burn diesel so it's kind of stinky, and makes a big black smudge cloud and pretty much sits above this valley most of the morning."

YOU MIGHT THINK A GUIDEBOOK THAT TELLS PEOPLE TO CHILL OUT ABOUT SMUDGE POTS OR PESTICIDE DRIFT WOULD DRIVE A WEDGE BETWEEN NEWCOMERS AND OLD TIMERS. BUT KIM SAYS THE GOAL IS HELP PEOPLE LEARN HOW TO BE NEIGHBORLY. ABOUT THINGS LIKE HOW TO FIX POTHOLES ON A SHARED GRAVEL ROAD:

KIM: "Right, yeah, they have to work it out, and pay for it together."

DUCHAMP: "So in rural communities you actually have to talk to your neighbors, then."

KIM: "You do, I definitely know my neighbors here a lot better than I did in Portland."

I'M CATHY DUCHAMP REPORTING.

℗ Copyright 2007, KUOW News

07.17.18

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