The Lake County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to their state senator, Lynn Findley, and state rep. Mark Owens today asking them to discuss the Greater Idaho movement in the Oregon Legislature. The movement’s goal is to convince the Oregon and Idaho Legislatures to move the Oregon/Idaho border so that eastern and southern Oregon would be under Idaho’s jurisdiction.
The movement gathered enough signatures in two months to force a ballot initiative onto the county’s May 2021 ballot, which voters then approved 74% to 26%. The initiative requires the Board of Commissioners to meet three times a year on the topic.
In the letter, the Board states that “There is more and more community support” for the movement, and “we believe it can be done.” The letter cites a recent poll that found that even the voters of northwestern Oregon (81 % of them, including 79% of Democrats) favor the idea of the Oregon government looking into the causes and solutions to the discontent in eastern and southern Oregon.
Senator Findley is a member of the Committee on Finance and Revenue. Citizens for Greater Idaho is hoping to be granted a hearing in the Oregon Legislature in that committee, or a similar one. The group is asking supporters to contact their legislators and the chairpersons of three committees: Rep. John Lively, Rep. Nancy Nathanson, and Sen. Lee Beyer.
The Grant County Court sent a similar letter in December.
Lake County’s letter mentions two counties that will vote on the movement’s ballot initiatives this May: Douglas County and Klamath County. The movement’s website, greateridaho.org, shows that it is still collecting signatures in four other counties.
The movement is on the agenda of the Crook County Court’s meeting tomorrow. The Court will consider referring to the Crook County ballot a non-binding advisory question about including Crook County into Idaho.
“The new fossil fuel rule announced by Oregon’s DEQ shows Oregon is on a path to force our economy to be carbon-neutral, which will force Oregonians to make a living as white-collar workers or dependents. That’s not the Oregon I know. We’re not leaving Oregon; northwestern Oregon left us. We want to preserve old Oregon as a part of Idaho,” said Mike McCarter, leader of the Greater Idaho movement.