District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela, who represents the Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir areas, cast the lone opposing vote.

Siskiyou County supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday of last week to approve a declaration supporting withdrawal from California to form a separate State of Jefferson.

District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela, who represents the Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir areas, cast the lone opposing vote.

Interviewed after the meeting, District 3 Supervisor Michael Kobseff, who represents the Weed area, called the desire to withdraw from the state “a symptom of the continued frustration of rural counties.” He sees the declaration as more than symbolic, pointing out that the US constitution does allow for the creation of new states.

Acknowledging that it’s an “uphill battle,” Kobseff said groups in other northern California and southern Oregon counties will be putting similar declarations before their supervisors.

Then, once a group of counties commits to the State of Jefferson cause, both houses of the state legislature would have to approve the secession, as well as US Congress.

“People are so thoroughly disgusted with the way government is representing what it calls the people anymore,” Kobseff said.

In a terse weekend press release, Assemblyman Brian Dahle, Siskiyou County’s first-term representative in California’s 1st District, said, “If the people of Siskiyou County are successful in creating their own state I will be the first to seek the office of Governor.”

Secession proponents packed the chamber room in Yreka Sept. 3, standing, sitting, kneeling and overflowing into the courthouse halls. The movement is being spearheaded by a group called Jefferson Declaration Committee.

“Ultimately, I’m not going to be for this,” said Valenzuela, who asked during the meeting how many people present were from Mount Shasta and received no response.

“I signed on to work within the system that I know. I don’t like it or agree with it all the time. By the same token, I did sign on for that, and I will continue to do so,” Valenzuela said.

“Knowing what it’s like to be a minority, I know the value of having to work from the other side without the numbers and without the support,” he said.

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US constitution reads, “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

“This group is serious,” said Kobseff. They say they’ll see it through... “This is something that’s been talked about for 70 years. From what I can see, this is a serious effort.”

Kobseff added the topic has “caught fire nationally” and said interviews keep coming “right and left.” He said 10 counties in Colorado are currently in the process of creating a new state that would be called “North Colorado,” and a similar movement is taking place in Maryland.

“Siskiyou County has no representation. Our congressman has 12 counties in his district, and our senator has equivalent,” Kobseff said.

He said regulations put on small rural counties like Siskiyou are killing us.

Kobseff cited diesel regulations and the state fire fee as examples.

“The fire tax unfairly targets rural areas,” Kobseff said, pointing out that the recent Oakland Hills fire was in CAL FIRE territory, though the residents of that urban area do not pay the fee.

More information
For more about the Jefferson Declaration Committee and to read the declaration, go to www.jeffersondeclaration.net