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Bid to shrink Oregon, enlarge Idaho would split High Desert

Greater Idaho movement
Map of proposal that would expand Idaho across much of Oregon's rural areas

La Pine retiree chief petitioner to 'Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho'

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A retired La Pine nurseryman is a chief petitioner for the latest secession movement to draw attention in the West, a bid to add much of Oregon's southern, central and eastern counties into Idaho -- not including Bend or Sisters, but including Redmond, Madras and Prineville.

The Oregonian noted in its story Monday about the "Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho" movement that there's always "talk of secession in the air," such as the long-standing Cascadia effort and the call for a conservative, rural state of Jefferson.

Mike McCarter, the La Pine resident who's helping lead the latest effort, told the paper he's backed the state of Jefferson movement, but doesn't see secession happening.

Instead, he's shooting for something far less constitutionally sticky -- moving a state's borders. He noted that's happened on a smaller scale in past decades elsewhere in the country.

“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,” McCarter said in a press release posted to the group's Facebook page.

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

While it's a very tall order, the Move Oregon's Border group's proposals to have voters weigh in has received initial approval from Josephine and Douglas counties, which could get them on the November ballot, if enough signatures are gathered.

Even if the counties being invited voted to join Idaho, both state's legislatures would have to weigh in, as well as Congress.

The map as drawn definitely splits up Central Oregon, leaving Bend and Sisters in smaller Oregon while adding Madras, Redmond, Prineville and La Pine to the newly enlarged state of "Greater Idaho," as well as areas all the way to the coast and south into California, beyond Redding and Red Bluff.

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