Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Postal petition circulates in GR


Imagine waiting in emotional agony for days, waiting for blood work results for your sick furry, four-legged family member. This family member has been your beloved pet for many years. It would break your heart if anything bad were to happen to your beloved pet.

Now imagine mailing out your monthly bill payment on the usual day you send it out to get there in time. Only this time, it’s much too late and you receive a late fee for the bill in the mail weeks later. The bill keeps rising.

Now for something a bit more serious and potentially life threatening. Imagine your medication that is vital to your health that you get mailed to you overnight, doesn’t arrive until the next day or later. By then, it is too late. The medication that is suppose to be chilled is now expired.

What now?

Scenarios like theses are all too familiar for residents of Green River and Rock Springs. The reason for these occurrences is the recent closure of the sorting center at the Rock Springs post office. Since this has happened, the mail going in and out of Green River and Rock Springs has experienced a serious delay. There is no more overnight mail. It is not possible with the mail now diverting to Salt Lake City first, 150 miles out of the way, and then making its way back to Wyoming. Letters and packages that used to take a couple days to arrive at their destination, now take over a week if not longer.

What then, do residents and businesses do to alleviate the slow mail time? In order to ensure on-time deliveries, they are forced to use other avenues of delivery.

To remedy this taxing situation residents and businesses have found themselves in now, the Auxiliary to the American Postal Workers Union have started a petition to bring the mail back to Rock Springs.

Why Change?

The consolidation of post office services, according to APWU member Pam Gee, is on attempt to save money. This method may work for more densely populated areas and large cities, but not in large, spread out rural communities like Wyoming.

“Money wise, cutting here in rural areas doesn’t work,” Gee said. “Wyoming is a big area and you have to consider the terrain as well. Even if you outsource, you have to pay it somewhere.”

Wyoming is such a spread out state, with hundreds of miles of wilderness in between civilization, it takes a while to get anywhere whether it’s driving or mailing a package.

“I can’t tell you how many expresses are failed because we don’t have overnight service anymore. There’s no overnight service in Wyoming that I know of,” Gee said.

The only three working postal sectional facilities left in Wyoming are Casper, Cheyenne and Gillette. Because of that, mail has to ship 150 miles west in order to come back 150 miles or more east.

“It looked good on paper. Somebody processed it on paper but nobody put in the real thought as to what is was going to cost to the consumers,” Gee said. “I have comments every day that the Pony Express would be faster.”


Green River residents and businesses alike could benefit from the mail sorting returning to Rock Springs. Many are outspoken about the matter and eager for a chance for it to return.

“We are all for that sorting center getting opened back up,” Mary Maestas, receptionist at Castle Rock Veterinary Clinic said. “We can no longer send things overnight through the mail. We now have to Fedex them if we want it there overnight.

The clinic used to mail everything through the post office, 100 percent of the time, Maestas said. They would use the overnight mail to send biopsies and histopathology to the lab in Cheyenne.

“It’s costing us money because we now have to Fedex it, so that’s a big issue,” Maestas said. “They’re going to pay for it in more ways than one. They think they are saving money, but they are actually losing money. People are finding other ways to get their packages to their destinations.”

Castle Rock isn’t the only local business that has switched to using other means to deliver business necessities.

“We were forced to use Fedex and UPS,” pharmacist Gary Pedri at Rock Springs I.V. Center said. “Everything we do has to be overnight. Second day is not an option for us.”

Rock Springs I.V. Center mails medications that are detrimental to their patients, and need to be refrigerated.

“We hope that we get our post office back,” Pedri said. “If we did get our mail service back, it would sure help us a bunch. We prefer the post office. we’d like to go back to them.”


“Up to now, two bills have been lost (in the mail). It’s a bit annoying, waiting for the next bill coming in and they doubled it because they lost the first one,” Green River resident Mike Lynch said. “I’m sure going through a different place to send mail. The bills I’m sending don’t even get where they’re going. It’s late according to them.”

Lynch is one resident who has signed the petition to get mail back, sorting through Rock Springs again. Other residents are equally as frustrated, in Green River and Rock Springs alike.

“When I put my rent in the mail I’m always worried how many more days it’s going to take, so I always try to send it early,” Green River resident Jennifer Evans said. “I’m all for bringing it back, I’m sure it took away a few jobs, and just the convenience of it being in Rock Springs, and if we actually have Rock Springs, mail it will stay right there.”

Evans didn’t know there was a petition to bring the mail back to the Rock Springs post office, but when she found out there is one, she wanted to sign it.

Time to save rural post offices

The question is though, would this petition actually do any good? Is it worth signing? According to Pam Gee, from the American Postal Workers Union, it is. There have been other post offices in other states that have closed and then reopened due to the needs of the rural area they are located in.

“If you took something that wasn’t broke, why fix it? Now if it’s broken, let’s fix it,” Gee said. So, since it is broken and we’re not getting the service, the American Postal Workers Auxiliary says here, here’s your petition, let’s see if we can ask them to change their minds. I do know that things are reversible. They can change their mind.”

The closing of rural post office processing centers, like the one in Rock Springs is part of a bigger picture. This is not the only one it has happened to. Some have reopened, while others have remained closed.

In an article in The American Postal Worker magazine, Senator Michael Enzi states, “There is a huge concern, particularly in rural America, about the closing down of the processing centers. It takes at least an extra day to get the mail.”

The petition by the Auxiliary to the American Postal Workers Union states, “The public good must not be sacrificed for the sake of private investment and profit. A strong public Postal Service is our democratic right.”

Want to Sign?

The petition can be found at multiple locations in Green River, including the Green River Star, the Green River Chamber of Commerce, Castle Rock Veterinary Center, and Muley Fanatic. Locations include Shear Reflections beauty salon, and Sweetwater School District No.2 bus barn.

Those interested in copies of the petition personally can pick one up at the listed locations, and once filled, return the petition to any of those locations.


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