LOS ANGELES — The Siskiyou County, Calif. Board of Supervisors is formally supporting efforts to secede from the Golden State, citing water right issues and complaints about having to pay for fire protection services.
The board of supervisors voted 4 to 1 on Sept. 3 to support the county’s split from California, according to a report from the Redding Record Searchlight.
Supporters say Siskiyou should form a new state, to be called Jefferson, with other counties in Northern California and Southern Oregon they believe share similar interests.
The county, located in the northernmost part of California, in the Shasta Cascade region on the Oregon border, has a population of roughly 44,000 people.
In addition to water rights and grousing about a recently enacted rural fire prevention fee, residents in the largely Republican county do not believe they are fairly represented in the Democrat-dominated state legislature, according to the news report.
The issue arose in August when county residents began lobbying the board to consider secession. To secede, the county also needs highly unlikely approvals from the state legislature and Congress.
The county also plans to invite neighboring counties in northern California and Southern Oregon to join efforts.
Talk of secession is not a new concept. Similar talk about creating a State of Jefferson was common in the 1930s until World War II took steam out of the effort, but has never been forgotten. For example, the public radio network serving Southern Oregon and far north California is called Jefferson Public Radio.