In an apparent response to the Greater Idaho movement, which aims to make Eastern Oregon a part of the Gem State, someone has created a “semi-serious parody” website suggesting that part of Idaho join Oregon instead.
The “Lesser Idaho” website calls on people to “Join the movement to relocate the Oregon/Idaho state line to make both states better” — exactly the same language as on the Greater Idaho website.
The website header is almost an exact replica of the Greater Idaho Movement site. But on this one, the map that suggests adding southwest Idaho to Oregon — not the other way around.
“At the Lesser Idaho Movement, we believe it’s time to return parts of Idaho to their rightful home: Oregon. After all, these areas were historically a part of the Oregon Territory and share more in common with their western neighbor than their eastern one,” the website reads.
Among the bullet points it lists for reasons to join Oregon:
- Shared Geography
- Cultural Similarities
- Economic Interdependence
- Historical Context
- Political Alignment
- Improved Infrastructure
- Geographic Continuity
It’s not clear who created the website. But what is clear when you read the fine print at the bottom is that the Lesser Idaho movement is a deliberate joke.
“This is the site is a semi-serious parody of the the Greater Idaho movement, as moving the borders would only lead to the same rural/urban divides that plague all of the United States,” the fine print reads. “Idaho’s economic standings would be less able to support rural Oregon, and would be as removed as eastern Oregon is from Salem. Oregon would gladly welcome Boise, Twin Falls, and Sun Valley to our wonderful state.”
There are buttons on the site urging people to “Learn More,” “Take Action” and “Contact Legislators” like on the Greater Idaho website. But none of them work. They don’t link to anything.
The Greater Idaho movement wants to basically move all of Eastern and Central Oregon, with a carve out for Bend, and have them join conservative Idaho — a contrast from the Oregon Legislature in which Democrats are in the majority. Organizers also claim the move would save Western Oregon money.
Several Eastern Oregon counties have voted in favor of having their county leaders look into the possibility of such a move. The most recent was Wallowa County, which voted last week. As of Tuesday, it was passing by five votes.
The Greater Idaho movement says 12 counties have now voted in favor of discussing a move to Idaho. But there’s no sign any border movement will happen anytime soon. Such a move would have to be approved by the Idaho and Oregon legislatures and Congress.
Norman Williams, a professor of constitutional law at Willamette University, has told Central Oregon Daily News previously that moving the border would cost somewhere in the range of $20 billion for things like:
- The land Oregon currently owns
- The assets Oregon owns (offices, colleges, universities, prisons)
- Pension obligations of state and local government officials