Online petition seeks to sell Montana to Canada. ‘Just tell them it has beavers.’ screengrab

An online petition at has a cheeky suggestion — offload Montana on Canada for $1 trillion to help pay down the U.S. national debt.

“We have too much debt and Montana is useless,” reads the petition, which had more than 8,000 signatures Tuesday afternoon. “Just tell them it has beavers or something.”

Of course, the proposal presents certain logistical questions — like, is this even possible? And do a few thousand signatures on an online petition warrant selling off an entire state?

Not to mention, $1 trillion falls a bit short of the amount needed to bring the United States back into the black. In fact, it would only make a slight dent in the $22 trillion national debt, according to the U.S. National Debt Clock.

The Great Falls Tribune in Montana also has questions. In a Feb. 12 opinion piece, the publication starts off by asking “how dare you” and “are you trying to hurt our feelings, man?” Then it delves into more practical concerns, including “can we take Yellowstone National Park with us?”

“Would Montana still be named Montana or would we be Southern Alberta? Better Saskatchewan?” the editorial continues. “Would Montanans have to start saying ‘sorry’ constantly or would there be allowances made for us as former Americans? Sorry, that was probably a rude question. Sorry!”

Some on Twitter were wholeheartedly in favor of the idea.

“i know that the petition to sell montana to canada is a joke but honestly i’m here for it,” read one post from Bozeman, Montana.

“There’s a petition going around to sell Montana to Canada for $1 trillion and if it goes through I’m moving back and y’all are more than welcome to come back with me,” read another Twitter post.

Others asked why stop with Montana, or suggested other states to sell instead.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff about selling Montana to Canada but like honestly we should sell Wyoming with it too,” read one Twitter comment.

“Hmmmm....interesting option, although can we sell them WA State instead? I mean, MT is full of Cowboys, rugged Big Sky men and Ranchers. Way too American to become part of Canada. WA makes way more sense. Eh?” asks another Twitter post.

“Can we sell Ohio instead?” another Twitter post suggests.

We want Hawaii,” wrote a Canadian on Twitter.

Check out some highlights from a recent visit to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.