Idaho lawmakers hear presentation on expanding state boundary into Oregon

The portion of northern California shown as part of Greater Idaho is phase two of the plan to expand Idaho - image: Citizens for Greater Idaho

To change a state border, all it takes is an interstate compact between two states and the approval of Congress. A movement has formed to do just that and has undertaken a multi-year effort to add the rural parts of Oregon to Idaho.

Greater Idaho contends that Oregon lawmakers pass laws that undermine industries in eastern, central, and southern Oregon, and more. 

“They don’t protect us from rioters, forest arsonists, or school curricula that teach kids to hate Americans and Americanism. And they pass laws that violate our conscience. We can’t let our money support their system anymore. We are outnumbered, we don’t have leverage, and things will continue to get worse,” reads the Greater Idaho website.

On Monday April 12, Mike McCarter, President of Move Oregon’s Border and Citizens for Greater Idaho, made a presentation to a joint meeting of the Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee and the House Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee.

It is not a vote to secede from Oregon,” McCarter told lawmakers. “It’s not a vote to start a new state. It’s just the beginning process of asking Oregon to let Oregon’s rural counties go, and asking Idaho, ‘would you allow us to become part of your state?’”

Two Oregon counties have already passed the non-binding question: “Do you want your county commissioners to start looking into the possibility of your county becoming a county of Idaho?”

Five more rural Oregon counties will consider the question on May 18 of this year, and Idaho lawmakers have expressed support for the idea. Should the Idaho/Oregon border be moved as drawn, Idaho would have a port on the Pacific Ocean, the state’s population would increase by roughly 50 percent, and Idaho would become the 3rd largest state in the union. 

To learn more about the Greater Idaho movement, we spoke with Citizens for Greater Idaho spokesman Keaton Ems by phone.

Music credits as reported to the Public Radio Exchange, in order of appearance:

Song: Afternoon Espree Through Salem
Artist: John Fahey
Album: Railroad
Label: Takoma
Year: 1983
Duration:

Song: Enigmas and Perplexities of the Norfolk and Western
Artist: John Fahey
Album: Railroad
Label: Takoma
Year: 1983
Duration:

Song: Delta Dog Through the Book of Revelation
Artist: John Fahey
Album: Railroad
Label: Takoma
Year: 1983
Duration:

Song: Oneonta
Artist: John Fahey
Album: Railroad
Label: Takoma
Year: 1983
Duration:

Song: Afternoon Espree Through Salem
Artist: John Fahey
Album: Railroad
Label: Takoma
Year: 1983
Duration: