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Judge affirms Scouts’ option to sell CdA’s Camp Easton

An Idaho judge on Thursday denied for a second time efforts to halt a possible sale of Camp Easton, a popular Boy Scout destination on Lake Coeur d’Alene’s east shore.

Opponents of the possible sale have asked an Idaho court to halt negotiations between the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts of America and Discovery Land Co., an Arizona developer. Discovery Land has said the company will swap a new camp on the lake’s west shore for Camp Easton, which it will convert into a residential community.

Opponents organized into a group called Camp Easton Forever. They argued the property had been deeded to the scouts in 1929 to be used as a camp forever. Last month, Idaho District Court Judge John Luster said he’d reconsider his original May ruling allowing the sale, based on new motions from the lawyer representing the opponents’ group.

On Thursday, Luster denied those motions, saying his initial ruling was still legally valid. He again asserted that the plaintiffs were unable to establish actual damages if the sale proceeds, saying their interest was “a generalized grievance at best.”

Plaintiffs’ attorney Kathlene Kolts said after Luster’s ruling that the group will likely file an appeal with Idaho’s Supreme Court.

Tim McCandless, the Spokane-based Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts executive, said the ruling allows the council’s foundation board to continue negotiations.

But, he noted in a news release, the plan to sell the 380-acre historic Camp Easton is still in the discussion stage.

“If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, Camp Easton will remain at its current location,” McCandless said.

Spokesman-Review publisher Stacey Cowles is a member of the Inland Northwest Council’s executive board.