Some argue that use of the Internet tends to pull people's interests away from their local area and weaken community ties (e.g., Kraut et al., 1998). Others argue that the Internet is frequently used to strengthen local ties, and is becoming a tool for helping communities organize to achieve local interests (Hampton and Wellman, 2003). Our results from a 2005 random sample mail survey of 1,315 households in a rural region of the Western United States suggest that increased Internet usage is positively related to nominal and active levels of community participation while at the same time supporting affective networks outside the local area. The location of these communities in a rural region of the West and their substantial distance from a larger population concentration provide the opportunity to draw implications for community development in the Information age and address theoretical concerns about the effects of information technologies on communities of place and local social capital.