Siskiyou county votes to secede from California

SiskiyouThe Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted to secede from California with a 4-1 vote Sept. 3 with an intent to form their own state.

Many residents had complaints including a lack representation in Sacramento, being deprived  of water rights and excessive fire taxes, as reported by the Record Searchlight of Redding.

Siskiyou Hall, home to Chico State’s Student Veterans Center, is named for the county currently trying to leave the state.

The board proposed calling their new state Jefferson, a name that was suggested by residents of a region in the Pacific Northwest seeking to leave the U.S after World War II. Charles Turner, political science department chair, shared his thoughts on the secession.

“Their argument is that they are not being represented,” Turner said. “They are complaining, ‘Oh they are not protecting our water rights’, well they’ve elected a guy who has a background in protecting water rights.”

Turner doesn’t think the dramatic move will help Siskiyou County achieve their ends.

“I haven’t heard anyone suggest secession as a strategy,” he said.

While Butte County faces some of the same issues Siskyou County is complaining about, the latter’s small, rural population is the reason they’ve taken an extreme course of action, Turner said.

“Part of that might be we have had representatives that are pretty effective,” he said.

Andrew Roberts, freshman political science major, said he is doubtful that the attempt at succession will succeed.

“I think it is ridiculous … it is an unattainable option,” Roberts said.

Katy Hood, senior interior architecture major, disagreed with the idea of the breakup.

“I feel like if they break away, anything they have now will be nothing,” Hood said.

The next step for Siskiyou County is to create a Declaration of Secession which would then need to get approved by both the state legislature and the governor in order for the county to gain independence.


Lindsay Pincus can be reached at [email protected] or @lindsaypincus on Twitter.