North Idaho

Boy Scout camp land swap not happening

COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho - It's a controversy that raged on for a year. But the Boy Scouts announced Thursday they will not be moving Camp Easton to a different location.

Originally, Discovery Land Company proposed swapping the campsite for one on the west side of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The company even offered to help build a new camp with more amenities.

When the Boy Scouts considered the idea, it sparked outrage from people who didn't want the camp to change locations, especially those from a group against the movement called Camp Easton Forever.

Boy Scout camp land swap not happening

However, after a year the Boy Scouts announced discussions are over and they aren't going anywhere.

"I think it's a good step in the right direction," said Tom Little of Camp Easton Forever.

A Boy Scout executive said there are many reasons it didn't work, including high construction costs and complicated land ownership. They said they didn't see how both sides would get what they wanted.

Although the Boy Scouts said they are no longer discussing the move, people against the move said there will be damage that has to be repaired.

"The trust, I think, has been damaged. Are they ever going to repair that?" said Little.

Camp Easton Forever filed a lawsuit arguing the land the camp sits on is a charitable trust, meant only to be used by the Boy Scouts Camp. A judge struck down that argument because it wasn't spelled out in the deed.  

The group is appealing to the Idaho Supreme Court so they make sure the Boy Scouts don't try something like this again. The Boy Scouts said that argument hasn't been upheld in court so they aren't worried about it. 

The Boy Scouts are now focusing on fundraising to improve Camp Easton. They said they want to build a tunnel or bridge in the area so people can safely cross Highway 97.