51st state, North Colorado, proposal faces opposition

WELD COUNTY, Colo. - Three Greeley lawyers are trying to block an effort by Weld County to secede from Colorado and start a 51st state with other rural communities.

Robert Ruyle, Stow Witwer and Chuck Dickson argue that only county residents can lead the charge to break away from Colorado in Weld County

According to the Denver Post, the attorneys are asking a council that oversees the Weld County Commission to intervene.

Weld County commissioners have proposed Weld and several other mainly northeastern Colorado counties form a new state, North Colorado, because they say state legislators have been ignoring the needs of rural communities.

Voters in Weld, Elbert, Sedgwick, Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Phillips, Logan, Lincoln, Washington and Yuma counties are voting next month on whether they want their county commissioners to pursue the idea.

Voters in Moffat County, on the Western Slope, are also voting on the idea.

Weld County commissioners said they are pursuing the idea because they felt agriculture, oil and gas were under attack in the State Legislature, and the needs of rural Colorado counties were being ignored.

If the idea wins final approval, the state would be called North Colorado and would likely include 11 counties, but could include more.

West Virginia was the last to separate and form a new state. That was 150 years ago, in 1863.