Their complaints are the usual litany of complaints that rural counties make in states whose governments are dominated by urban liberals, along with a few uniquely Californian ones:
. . .Within two weeks, Baird had crafted a declaration in support of the breakaway State of Jefferson and placed it on the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors agenda. It was approved a week later on a 4-1 vote.
And with that, a movement that has waxed and waned for 150 years was born again.
Neighboring Modoc County's supervisors soon clamored for a similar declaration, and also voted "yea"; the Tehama County board agreed to put the matter to voters; and organizing committees sprang up in seven other counties.
The State of Jefferson flag — which dates to a 1941 effort — is now flown from the Nevada border west to the Pacific Ocean and as far south as Yuba City. (It features a gold pan with two X's, for the double-crossing purportedly dealt to residents of Northern California and southern Oregon by their respective seats of state government.)
"I think we should do it," blurted Isaiah Solus, 14, a descendant of Siskiyou County pioneers from Portugal. "We're a whole different part of the state. We need our own water, we need our own rules.... We need a whole different set of things than the city people."A former resident of one of the counties involved, Humboldt (the southern coastal county in the map above), I can say with some certainty that the first order of business in the new state of Jefferson would be to legalize marijuana.
The menu of grievances includes a proposal to remove Klamath River dams, a crackdown on gold dredging and a fire prevention fee for rural areas that has been challenged in the courts as a tax..."We're governed by Los Angeles and San Francisco," the former logger said. "We live by their rules, and we don't like living by their rules."
I don't expect it in my lifetime.
Still, Hayden believes the State of Jefferson will remain a state of mind. "I'm an optimist," he said, "but I'm not that much of an optimist."