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Some Oregon residents petition to join “Greater Idaho”

Residents of SW Oregon are petitioning to move a portion of the Idaho border west to encompass several Oregon counties. (Photo credit: Greater Idaho Project)

SALT LAKE CITY — Some eastern Oregon residents want to live in Greater Idaho, by re-drawing the borders of both states.

They say their state government has become too liberal. They’d rather move into neighboring conservative Idaho and call it “Greater Idaho.”

It’s a group called “Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho.”

Their map shows Idaho taking over southeastern Oregon and even dipping down to slice out some of northern California.

The group is trying to get enough signatures to be on local ballots in November. They have already received approval from two Idaho counties.


Oregon Idaho border

“Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,” said one of the chief petitioners, Mike McCarter, in a press release.

“We tried voting those legislators out but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored. This is our last resort,” he said.

Their website says this proposal differs from secession because it does not create a new state or increase the number of states; it simply would be a shift in borders that would not affect the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

But moving the border would still require approval from the U.S. Congress as well as the Idaho and Oregon legislatures.

Another chief petitioner, Valerie Gottschalk, said she thinks the idea will gain traction: “Every time I look at the Facebook group ‘Greater Idaho,’ the group has gotten bigger.”

USA Today reports that Oregon has actually tried to join Idaho beore.  In 1941, residents of southwestern Oregon tried to secede by creating a state of Jefferson with northern Californians.