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Eye On Boise

Tue., May 3, 2011, 5:36 p.m.

State-land cabin owners at Priest, Payette lakes score surprise win in court

Here's a link to my full story at on how cabin owners on state land at Priest and Payette lakes scored a surprise win in court today, as a district judge in Boise indicated he'll issue an order to freeze the rents they pay for the state-owned lots under their cabins and reject a bid to toss out a state law protecting them from conflict auctions when their leases come up for renewal. "I don't see where it precludes the Land Board from maximizing long-term financial return," 4th District Judge Michael McLaughlin told a courtroom crowded with cabin owners who rent their cabin sites from the state of Idaho.    McLaughlin said he'll issue a full written ruling, but wanted to let all sides know where he was headed.

"The court will be issuing an order that the rents remain as they were prior to the December decision to raise those rents," the judge said. "We'll square those other things around as we get through this process. So I'm giving you a little insight as to where I'm headed." His move would throw the state Land Board's much-debated plan for resolving contentious issues over the cottage-site leases into disarray. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who serves on the Land Board and watched the hearing from the audience, said, "Well, one could say we are in various stages of disarray to begin with."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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