Skip to Content

Lake County petition effort begins on proposal to become part of ‘Greater Idaho’

'Greater Idaho' campaign succeeded in 2 of 4 counties last month

LAKE COUNTY, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Lake County has joined other Eastern Oregon counties where petitions are being circulated to put a measure on the next ballot that would direct county officials to meet and discuss the prospect of becoming part of the state of Idaho.

Or, as its supporters call it: "Greater Idaho."

Move Oregon’s Border President Mike McCarter of La Pine spoke with NewsChannel 21 on Monday, giving an update on the effort. specifically where the effort stands with the addition of the Lake County effort.

“Four counties have already voted on it, and 12 more, we're trying to get on May 2021’s ballot.”

The measure -- which only requires that county commissioners meet three times a year to discuss the idea -- passed in two of the four counties that voted on the move in November, Jefferson and Union counties.

“In Wallowa County, it lost by 30 votes,” he said.

Many other steps would be needed to actually shift the state's border, by both state's leaders.

McCarter explained what he is hearing from those in support.

“We're hearing from a lot of folks in rural Oregon about issues that are going on in the Willamette Valley, laws that are being instituted that affect them that are basically designed for urban areas.”

McCarter said they don’t feel represented in Salem.

Map of proposal that could be heading to more Oregon counties' ballots next year that would expand Idaho across much of Oregon's rural areas

“Face it -- we're outnumbered almost 3-to-1 in population in the Willamette Valley, so they control the vote on everything.”

Here's a news release issued Monday by McCarter about the latest developments:

Oregon state judge David M. Vandenberg ruled November 18 that the ballot initiative submitted by Move Oregon’s Border “met the basic constitutional standard.”  Lake County Clerk Stacie Geaney on December 11 cleared the campaign to begin collecting signatures.  Oregon counties generally allow collection of signatures as long as 24 months, but Move Oregon’s Border hopes to meet the February 17 deadline to put their initiative on the May 2021 local election ballot.  The initiative has been posted on the group’s website,  

Mike McCarter, President of Move Oregon’s Border said, “Kate Brown’s proposal to close a state prison in Lake County is an insult because Lake County already gets less than its share of state spending according to the study we did for Lake County commissioners. Our study showed that counties of the same population density and per capita personal income in Idaho get more money from their state than Lake County’s government does, even though Idaho’s overall tax rates are lower than Oregon’s.  Cutting this prison will ensure that Lake County votes to join Idaho.” 

“Kate Brown’s proposal to close the state prison in Coos Bay is part of an unacceptable pattern of favoring urban Oregon over rural Oregon. State government didn’t fight like Idaho would for the timber industry that this port served. State government approved investments in ports in Portland that compete with Coos Bay, but refuses to approve the Jordan Cove project in Coos Bay as Idaho would. Multnomah’s average income is way higher than the average income in Coos.” 

He added, “The lockdown has affected the whole state, but we saw Oregon give COVID relief to urban Oregon instead of rural Oregon. Rural Oregon is unrepresented in the Democratic caucuses in the Oregon House and Senate. Since state leadership doesn’t consult Republicans, rural interests are completely ignored when it comes time to apportion state spending around the state. This state will split one way or another because the state protects Antifa arsonists, not normal Oregonians, it prioritizes one race above another for vaccines and program money and in the school curriculum, and it prioritizes Willamette Valley above rural Oregon. ” 

Mike McCarter responded to Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney's recent remarks about greater Idaho by stating, “Divisions in Oregon are getting dangerous, so we see the relocation of the border as a way to keep the peace. It's not divisive. Oregon and Idaho are already divided by a state line. The problem is that the location of the state line was decided 161 years ago and is now outdated. Its current location doesn’t match the cultural divide in Oregon. The Oregon/Washington border was updated in 1958. The Oregon/Idaho border was not.”  

When asked why his followers haven’t moved to Idaho, McCarter said, “We love our communities. We’re tied into them.  It’s just the state government that we can’t stand.” 

Learn more about the effort at:

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content