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Published On: Fri, Aug 16th, 2013

State of Jefferson, Rise! Federal Government Excesses, Green Lobby Overreach and State-level Indifference Reinvigorates a Vision for Democratic Rebirth

state of jefferson flagTND Exclusive Report
By Eric Dubin

The State of Jefferson is on the rise – again!  Secession movements are gaining momentum across the United States, as can be seen most recently in Colorado.  We must now add Siskiyou County, California to the list of counties and regions seeking independence.  Siskiyou County represents ground zero for the rebirth of a decades-old dream.  The State of Jefferson would have in fact become the 51st state were it not for the upwelling of nationalism brought on by World War II.

Last Tuesday, August 13th, Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors held an open hearing to consider public comments on a resolution draft overseen by Mark Baird, President of Scott Valley Protect Our Water.  As many as 100 local residents filled the boardroom and spilled out into the hallway.  This is no flash-in-the-pan movement.

Advocates call for Siskiyou County to withdraw from the State of California.  Ultimately, the county would form a new state, the “State of Jefferson.”  Advocates envision additional Northern California and Southern Oregon counties joining a newly formed State of Jefferson, an amalgamation similar in scope to the 1941 movement.

Decades of widely perceived policy abuse and neglect by federal and state agencies have wrought havoc on rural economies.  Siskiyou County has certainly seen it’s fair share of economic decline.  The “Timber Wars” have drastically changed forest resource management.   An appreciation for “multiple use” and a balancing of environmental protection with reasonable, sustainable resource extraction are in fact enshrined within the mission statements of the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.  However, over a period of decades these once venerable institutions have been influenced by an ever-growing and powerful environmental lobby intent on establishing “re-wilding” land lock-ups, and forest management policies informed by ideology, not science.

Perhaps the final straw has come with the questionable goal of dam removal along the Klamath River basin.  You would think that the local government in charge of a county would have a seat at the table when decisions about dam removal were being formulated.  Think again.

Federal Executive Branch agencies from the Department of the Interior on down, combined with a constellation of “stakeholders” including regional environmental organizations, the Karuk Tribe and large utility companies have proven to be indifferent to local government and the interests of the local, directly impacted community.  Three of the four dams proposed for demolition under the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) are located in Siskiyou County.  County Supervisors oppose the plan.  Some 80% of citizens of Siskiyou County voted against the demolition of the dams.  Their voices are essentially being ignored.

During the hearing, Mr. Barid asked, “Why must the environment of Siskiyou County be allowed to degrade into an unimaginable morass of regulatory failure because state agencies enter into agreements with groups who have no understanding of the environment which they pretend to save?”

The Road Ahead

County Board of Supervisors have no unilateral secession authority.  Ultimately, the county electorate would have to approve secession.  The struggle would then require the acquiescence from the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress;  many would argue an ice cube in Hell would likely have greater chance of survival than Siskiyou County secession.  Nevertheless, advocates for the State of Jefferson struggle forward.

In an email to, County Board Supervisor Marcia Armstrong noted that passage of a resolution or a declaration will likely be considered in September.  There remain questions that must be addressed.  “I suggested that ‘due process’ rights be added to ‘sue and settle,’” Armstrong noted.  A history of the State of Jefferson movement will likely be included in any new resolution/declaration draft.  County Counsel will also review the document and offer a legal opinion.  Still other considerations need further discussion, but Armstrong notes that “…because of the Brown Act, we cannot discuss (these issues) until they come to the full Board in an open meeting.”  Under the Brown Act, California’s “open government” law, County Supervisors can’t discuss policy regarding material fiscal matters behind closed doors.

Some advocates propose going beyond establishing a State of Jefferson.  Other ideas include the forging of a broad territory.  Supervisor Armstrong tells, “I am not in favor of the proposals for a Territory that are floating around.  A Territory is a colonial state under the rule of Congress, where your Governor and Secretary are appointed by Congress.  That is the last thing we need.”

The County Board of Supervisors will meet September 3rd, when further discussion on the proposal is expected.

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For additional information and continued updates see:

Scott Valley Protect Our Water:

Local television coverage:  click here

History of the State of Jefferson:  click here and here.

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About the Author

- Mr. Dubin is the Managing Editor of He has 25 years of experience as an independent buyside securities and global macro analyst. He has well over a decade of experience as a financial journalist, editor and political analyst. He's primarily an autodidact, but his formal education includes degrees in economics, international relations and MBA. He welcomes feedback on his articles and will make an effort to respond to comments. Email Eric by sending to "Eric" and then He can also be "followed" on Facebook: