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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Former Aryan Nations property sold; funds will support North Idaho College human rights education

The North Idaho College Foundation announced it sold the 20-acre site of the former Aryan Nations headquarters earlier this month after putting it on the market less than a year ago.

The sale of the undeveloped piece of countryside north of Hayden Lake, which once had around 11 structures for the white supremacist group, will support an endowment for North Idaho College human rights education and programming named after Gregory C. Carr, the man who gifted the property to the college’s foundation in 2002.

“These additional resources provided through the NIC Foundation will allow us to enhance the college’s ability to ensure our human rights education and programming continues to thrive at NIC and in collaboration with our greater human rights and education community,” NIC President Rick MacLennan said in a statement.

The Carr Foundation purchased the compound when Aryan Nations went bankrupt following a $6.3 million civil lawsuit in 2000. Firefighters used some of buildings for practicing arson investigations, then the foundation cleared out the remnants.

The NIC Foundation sold the property to the owners of an adjacent 19-acre parcel to the north, where a home was built in 2016, according to Kootenai County Assessor’s Office records. Kootenai County does not maintain records for real estate purchases.

NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson declined to disclose the purchase price of the land, or when the property was officially put up for sale, at the direction of the foundation board. The public college has not received the money and did not have information about the potential funding, according to school officials.

The land, which is made up of two parcels, was valued at more than $360,000 in July, up from about $230,000 in 2017, according to Kootenai County Assessor’s Office records.

The foundation said in a statement that the full amount of the sale will go to the college.

The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations applauded the sale and support for “teaching the essential principles of freedom, equality and justice that is the bedrock of a democracy.”

“From the arrival of Richard Butler and his Aryan Nations organization to northern Idaho in 1973 until his loss of the compound in a civil trial in 2000, we experienced dark storm clouds over our beautiful state and region,” the task force said in a statement.

“All the dark storm clouds have been replaced with a bright blue sky, sunshine and a rainbow,” task force President Christie Wood said.