Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Far-Fetched As They Might Seem, Secession Movements Are Thriving In The NW
Back in 1941, a group of ranchers, miners and loggers near the Oregon-California border staged a small political rebellion.
They elected their own governor, selected a state capital and changed the state line signs to welcome travelers to the State of Jefferson.
The Yreka Rebellion was mostly a public relations stunt, and it died quickly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But that Northwest spirit of wanting to break away lives on. “It doesn’t matter what we think about anything,” said Mark Baird, the spokesman for today’s State of Jefferson movement, an attempt by people in 21 Northern California counties to form their own state. “We can’t get representation on any issues. This is the only way for us to actually have our votes matter and our voices heard.”
Baird’s group bills itself as the spiritual children of the Yreka Rebellion, but the Pacific Northwest is actually home to at least four different ongoing secession or breakaway movements. One overarching State of Jeffersonian theme connects them: a sense of disenfranchisement.
Baird notes that his state senator represents 11 counties, while Los Angeles County has 11 senators.
“This is not a partisan issue. It’s just fundamentally unfair,” he said.
Across the state line in Oregon, rancher Ken Parsons has a similar complaint: “Urban areas dominate rural areas.”
For several years now, the La Grande farmer been pushing legislators and civic leaders in Eastern Oregon — and to a lesser extent, Washington — to join Idaho instead...more