13th Oregon County Votes To Secede And Join 'Greater Idaho'

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, May 25, 2024 - 06:35 PM

The "Greater Idaho" movement notched another victory this week, as Oregon's Crook County became the 13th county to vote to secede from leftist domination and join its more like-minded neighbors to the east. About 53% of voters approved a referendum recommending that county leaders engage in "continued negotiations regarding a potential relocation of the Oregon-Idaho border to include Crook County." 

"The voters of eastern Oregon have spoken loudly and clearly about their desire to see border talks move forward," said Greater Idaho executive director Matt McCaw. "With this latest result in Crook County, there's no excuse left for the Legislature and Governor to continue to ignore the people's wishes."

The yellow line marks the border that the Greater Idaho organization aspires to achieve (via Greater Idaho)

The group said the final tally was only as close as it was due to spending by Western State Strategies, which it described as a "social justice non-profit based in Portland." On its own site, Western State Strategies has accused Greater Idaho of "writing the most recent chapter in a long history of dangerous secessionist movements that appeal to bigotry to fuel division." 

Greater Idaho sees things differently. "Northwestern Oregon is embarking on social experiments: a cultural revolution that rural counties want no part of," the group writes on its website. "Eastern Oregon has a different culture and values." The group notes that 80% of Idaho's legislature is Republican, and that it "govern[s] according to the concerns and priorities of rural counties."

Greater Idaho's ultimate goal would see 13 entire counties leave Oregon, along with portions of four more. One of the counties targeted for a split is Deschutes County, which would be cleaved east of Bend, an outdoor mecca in Oregon's high desert that has been spiraling deeper into blue depths, prompting some to flee. Crook County joins Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Harney, Malheur, Baker, Grant, Wheeler, Jefferson, Wallowa, Union and Morrow counties, which have previously approved measures to negotiate an exit.   

If the group's goal comes to full fruition, Oregon would end up 62% smaller by size, but only 9% smaller by population. That math that underscores the contrast between the sparsely populated, rural eastern region and the more densely-populated coastal areas. It also highlights the eastern counties' lack of political strength in influencing statewide decisions.

"Oregon politicians don’t understand how we make a living," argues Greater Idaho. "Their decisions damage industries like timber, mining, trucking, ranching and farming. They want to remake the Oregon we’ve known our whole lives. We want to preserve the values and way of life of old Oregon as a part of Idaho."

While the group's momentum is undeniable, there are daunting hurdles ahead. For the border to move, the Oregon and Idaho legislatures must approve it, along with the US Congress. In 2023, the Idaho house passed a measure to pursue discussions of a border change, but it stalled in the Idaho senate. 

The Greater Idaho movement is fully consistent with American values rooted in the principal of self-determination and government by consent. While leftist opponents of the movement call it "dangerous," a calmly-negotiated border move is certainly the least dangerous path to a new governing arrangement that eastern Oregonians are entitled to.