Hundreds of people showed their support for separation from the State of California on Wednesday, January 6 at the California State Capitol. Mark Baird, a Siskiyou resident and business owner, along with other northern county representatives, agreed to file declarations with California legislators and the Secretary of State requesting the separation and to form a separate state of Jefferson.

Proponents of Jefferson want representation by state legislators that addresses the northern California region’s specific needs, including tax issues pertaining to rural counties that have a negative effect on citizen rights and business interests.

Not a new movement, the creation of a separate state of Jefferson began decades ago, but recent events have proven to be a catalyst for renewed momentum. Once such event, according to Baird, a leading member of the Siskiyou County Committee for the state of Jefferson, is the introduction of “a bill to approve an Indian gaming casino in Siskiyou County,” In a phone interview with the Plumas County News Baird added, “But we had placed a referendum on the ballot and nearly 80-percent of the people said that they didn’t want a casino in their county.”

While the report failed to name the specific casino Baird was referring to, the Karuk Tribe’s proposal for a casino in Yreka and the mitigation of its potential impacts was the subject of arbitration between residents of Siskiyou County and John F. Herlihy, a retired Santa Clara County judge, last February.