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Solution to Noem’s Tyranny: Dissolve South Dakota, Let Neighbors Annex!

South Dakota has turned into corporate fascist Noemistan. It’s time for a break-up:

The South Dakota Break-Up: a plan to save money, buffalo, and the Constitution.
The South Dakota Break-Up: a plan to save money, buffalo, and the Constitution.

Since South Dakota can’t afford to sustain basic services, it’s time to dissolve our dysfunction and let our neighbors help bring us back to civilization. Let our neighboring states (all except Montana: they’re big enough, and the geography of giving them Harding County is just awkward) annex adjoining portions of South Dakota, and designate the interior as the Great American Buffalo Commons, where bison and other native prairie wildlife may grow and roam uninhibited.

I’ve carved us up by county, since that’s the easiest map to play with.

Minnesota gets the I-29 corridor, minus Union County but plus Lake County.

Iowa gets Union County. Iowa is probably the only state that will take Dan Lederman. One could argue by contiguity that Iowa should get Lincoln County, but that would mean splitting Sioux Falls, and that’s crazy.

Nebraska gets the lower Missouri, Rosebud, and Pine Ridge.

Wyoming gets the Black Hills; they handle all the Yellowstone and Tetons tourism well; they should be able to easily incorporate the Black Hills into their marketing.

North Dakota gets the US Highway 12 corridor from Day County west.

Any edge counties our neighbors don’t want can be added to the Buffalo Commons.

We should proceed with this annexation now, so public services and Constitutional rights can be restored and so our newly expanded neighbors can redistrict accordingly in 2021. Minnesota currently faces the prospect of losing a seat in Congress, so they should welcome 300,000 new I-29 residents to maintain their eight seats in Congress.

Article 4 Section 3 of the United States Constitution requires the consent of the legislatures of each state involved in an annexation like this as well as the consent of Congress. But conservative legislators who support dissolving the federal Department of Education should leap at the chance to dissolve an entire state’s bureaucracy. Democrats in our Legislature should ensure a majority vote to let our neighbors annex us, since we Democrats just want good government… and Noemistan has proven itself incapable of good government.


  1. mike from iowa 2019-03-08

    Speaking on behalf of iowa, I want whatever South Dakota county that contains Hudson. I have such great drunken memories of weekends spent in the Buckaroo Bar. I’d take the billboard outside of Hudson saying Guv Dick Kneipf welcomed me to South Dakota.

  2. Donald Pay 2019-03-08

    When I was in high school, a group of us kids were wondering why the Minnesota border couldn’t be moved 30 miles west so Sioux Falls could be in Minnesota. We were a bit peeved at South Dakota’s backwardness in general.

    Today South Dakota seems like a failed state, like one of Trump’s sh*thole countries.

  3. El Rayo X 2019-03-08

    Where do we plan on moving the Crow Creek and Lower Brule tribes to? Also, without opposing thumbs, will the buffalo be able operate the Oahe and Big Bend Dams?

  4. mike from iowa 2019-03-08

    Why can’t Madame Pretend Guv appoint opposable thumbs for buffalo?

  5. jerry 2019-03-08

    Why not just honor the Fort Laramie Treaty. The rest then, could go to whomever wants them.

  6. Nick Nemec 2019-03-08

    Moving Lake County, your old home, to Minnesota? Pretty sneaky move there Heidelberger.

  7. Rorschach 2019-03-08

    I thought for a moment you were going to take Hoogaard up on his suggestion to get rid of the encroaching culture and give SD back to the tribes.

    If we do away with a state we need to add one to keep 50 stars on the flag. But while we’re adding, why not add 2 states: Puerto Rico and Washington DC. 51 states would be ok too. Tribes get full sovereignty over the buffalo commons. Native Americans have thumbs, X.

  8. Debbo 2019-03-08

    So Minnesota gets Watertown, Brookings and Soo Foo. The latter two would probably be in favor. Don’t know about Watertown. Jenny, do we want Watertown?

  9. TAG 2019-03-08

    Minnesota might not take Brookings County. The U of M would not tolerate another Division-I athletics University in their state. Nebraska might take issue with Clay County for the same reason.

    Wyoming gets a steal in the tourism dollars.

  10. Jenny 2019-03-08

    I think Minnesota would grab their beloved Fargo over Sioux Falls.

  11. Jenny 2019-03-08

    But yes Deb, MN Would take the Watertown area and turn it into it a wildlife Recreational area. Minnesota would also open up some wildlife biology research labs there. Also some clean energy research labs there. Minnesota is never afraid to invest in the future

  12. mike from iowa 2019-03-08

    With Watertown you get Ki-Yi debate and controversy which garnered the highest number of comments (just over 400) of any post I can remember. Students dress up as Indians.l

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-08

    Mike, we can negotiate on Hudson, which is in the SE corner of Lincoln County. We could split Lincoln County in half at Canton/US Hwy 18, give Iowa the south half with Union, keep the upper urban half in New Minnesota.

    Two Clay counties in one state are right out… but dang! Nebraska has a Clay County, too! We’ll give Nebraska renaming rights.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-08

    El Rayo, I invite the tribes to decide what they’d like to do. If they wish to exercise their sovereignty and act as the supreme government of the Buffalo Commons, I can live with that.

    No need to remove the dams—they’ll be good migration paths for the buffalo (did the buffalo ever cross the Missouri before the white man came to exterminate them?). The dams are operated by the feds, aren’t they? Are they federal property? I wonder if allowing the dams to continue to operate and transmit their power along those high-voltage lines would be compatible with restoration of the prairie ecosystem.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-08

    Nick, my mom grew up in Minnesota. I figure she might enjoy some good old days back in her home state… without having to move from Lake Herman.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-08

    TAG, I think Minnesota is big enough and smart enough to welcome another D-I school into its fold. Minnesota’s not stupid.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-08

    Ror, I’m open to amending the map to include the Black Hills and the Badlands in the Buffalo Commons and cede all authority to the Native Americans.

    Maybe the Black Hills should become an international free state, managed by the Sioux tribes but open to all mankind.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-08

    Jenny, I don’t think North Dakota is offering. ;-)

    Good thinking on Watertown. The upper Sioux River watershed makes a sensible alternative geographical/hydrological way to divide the land.

  19. grudznick 2019-03-08


  20. John 2019-03-08

    Option 1 is that all east of the Missouri River go to Minnesota to restore what was in the Minnesota Territory.
    Then carve up what’s left.

    Option 2 is restore the Dakota Territory with its present day capital in Bismarck (they have the money and the state bank). And they have the microscopically more forward thinking legislature and government.

  21. leslie 2019-03-08

    Can we get this legislation passed in a day or two? After consultation on a nation to nation basis with the tribes, this blog discussion so far should be adequate. Cut off at midnight; grdz can grease the skids in redemption. He and Larry Rhoden can then be imprisoned for boosting. Kristi can take sara’s Job eventually. Hunk can take over the Fed Dept of AIG until impeachment/25th amendment/indictment and hanging of trump and 37 other administration executives in Minnesota unless Bishop Desmond Tutu wisdom prevails.

    This is what happens Porter when Lenten sugar is not avoided because of a Chinese sweet/sour dinner out. Probably same as Kristi experienced in her discussion with ETP to abridge KXL protests.

  22. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-03-08

    Hot Springs is already Wyoming in many ways. I don’t think we’d notice.

  23. Debbo 2019-03-08

    Minnesota does love us some Fargo. It’s an embarrassing infatuation, but I don’t think ND will surrender Fargo or trade it for Watertown without fight. We’re way too nice to fight.

    SDSU could perhaps teach the Gophers how men’s sports are done. The Gopher women pretty much kill it in everything so they’re fine. Maybe we could just trade the Gophers male athletics as an entity for SDSU’s as a condition of joining MN.

  24. TAG 2019-03-09

    Debbo: one of the reasons the Dakota schools have achieved so much athletically is all the Minnesota kids on their rosters IMO. The U wants the state to themselves, but there are way more D-1 level athletes than one university can use. This is, of course, excluding hockey. Lots of D-1 schools there.

    Cory: I believe the bison herds would have had little trouble crossing the mighty mo’, at least when it wasn’t flooding. Remember that the width and depth had been highly altered by the Army Corps of Engineers to make it more “navigable” prior to the dams existence. The stretch of river between Yankton and Sioux City is a better representation of its natural form.

  25. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-03-09

    Good point on river history, TAG! Would providing more river crossings improve the herd of the Buffalo Commons herd and other wildlife?

  26. Adam 2019-03-09

    All we need to do to save America and ourselves is abolish the electoral college and make the U.S. Senate reflective of the population.

    It would also help A TON to merge SD, ND, ID, MT and WY into one Territory, and give those diseased rural idiots the exact same voting rights as other American Territories like Puerto Rico.

    There is no way to save ourselves, the country, or the world without marginalizing rural American voters.

    America will be ready for this conversation long before the Upper Midwest.

  27. Debbo 2019-03-09

    Adam, we need to change the makeup of the Senate to 200 members. Some states might have a max of 4 senators- California, Texas, New York. Others will only have one- Dakotas, Wyo, Rhode Island. They’ll be popularly elected by their entire state, same as now. Also add DC and PR = 52 states.

    Or do as this post suggests.

  28. Adam 2019-03-09

    Debbo, I like the 200 member U.S. Senate proposal.

    But as long as this post wants to consider the wildlife in this part of the country, it would be wrong to leave out rural conservatives. They are a part of the wildlife out here too, and they are destructive to the nationwide ecosystem.

  29. leslie 2019-03-09

    Funny, all, and a little inspiring:)

  30. leslie 2019-03-10

    As has been said-death of the Republican Party is occurring and within that welcomed event is a solution to the hateful politics they parented. Reiche; 538; newrepublic; nyt; Atlantic ect.

  31. TAG 2019-03-11

    Corey said: “Would providing more river crossings improve the herd of the Buffalo Commons herd and other wildlife?”

    No idea. I mean, from a wildlife/ecosystem perspective, dam removal would be ideal. Paddlefish, Pallid Sturgeon, and other migratory fish have struggled to stay extant in the face of the dams. A natural flood regime would be much better for many species, and would improve water quality, as the floodplain wetlands would both filter floodwater, provide critical habitat, and would be far more effective at absorbing and dissipating flood waters, minimizing downstream impacts.

    I understand all the benefits of the dams and reservoirs, though. Hydroelectricity, irrigation, tourism/recreation, enough flood control to give people a false sense of security in developing the floodplain, etc. The old “human needs vs. ecological function” debate…

    As far as crossing structures, I don’t know what that might entail. Highway wildlife crossing structures can be somewhat effective, but at the end of the day, are usually too expensive to justify the limited efficacy. Like the border wall.

  32. leslie 2019-03-11

    You know the old saying: “black as a Republican’s heart”.

  33. leslie 2019-03-11

    Buffalo hides shipped from ft Benton peaked at 80k in 1876. By 1884 they were zero. In lit up western sky motif Bierstadt painted BUFFFALO TRAIL crossing a river 1867. Cowboy Russell later imagined the UPPER MISSOURI crossings from 1st person accounts, drawing A STEAMBOAT HELD UP by a herd, THE STAND, or the romantic, stunning WHEN THE LAND BELONGED TO GOD. An unfound favorite depicts buffalo head-on, wet, steaming, emerging from a Missouri River crossing.

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