Framework

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All we want is the right to determine our own future, said Mark Baird, who favors splitting away.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Buffalo roam on a ranch in Siskiyou County, underscoring the rural nature of the region.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

John Lisle, right, owner of the Palace Barber Shop, cuts 14-year-old Isaiah Solus' hair in Yreka, Calif. "I think we should do it," said Isaiah about breaking away from California government.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Scissors and a comb rest in a gun holster next to an old-fashioned cash register at John Lisle's Palace Barber Shop in Yreka.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Molly Kelley holds up a State of Jefferson flag as she folds it inside the Klamath River Community Hall.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

A Bigfoot sculpture in the small town of Happy Camp in the Klamath National Forest.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

B. Mcdonald, right, 53, relaxes at the rustic Cold Stream Tavern in Fort Jones, Calif., a small town in the Scott Valley area of Siskiyou County, with fewer than 900 residents according to the 2010 census.

Reflecting the sentiments of many area residents, a tiny stuffed Bigfoot at Yreka's Palace Barber Shop holds a State of Jefferson sign.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

It's a quiet, rainy day with little activity on West Miner Street in the historical part of Yreka. Proponents for the formation of a State of Jefferson feel their voices go unheard in Sacramento.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

"Are we just going to go have an ice cream and complain?" said Mark Baird, a pilot of 747 cargo planes who with his wife runs a cattle ranch and the local radio station. "Or are we going to do something about it?"

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Leaving the radio station he and his wife run, Mark Baird grabs his pilot uniform and heads to his truck. "We need representation in Northern California," he says.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Mark Baird kisses his wife, Cyndi, at KSYC radio station in Yreka. Baird, a pilot of 747 cargo planes who with his wife runs the radio station and a cattle ranch, crafted a declaration in support of a breakaway State of Jefferson and placed it on the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors agenda. It was approved on a 4-1 vote.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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Northern Californians ponder a separate state

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Farmers, ranchers and onetime loggers were among those who packed a church community room here in August to listen to a former state lawmaker convey his vision of a cleaved — and more governable — California.

The theme was familiar, the resonance deep for those convinced that relentless regulation is strangling the economy of this northern border county. But this time, a tall man sporting a baseball cap stood up with a challenge.

“Are we just going to go have an ice cream and complain?” said Mark Baird, a pilot of 747 cargo planes who with his wife runs a cattle ranch and the local radio station. “Or are we going to do something about it?”

Read the full story “Northern California counties revive an old idea for a breakaway state.”

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