North Idaho

Court decision creates turmoil for leaseholders

SPOKANE, Wash. - An Idaho Supreme Court decision has created uncertainty for hundreds of leaseholders with cabins on Priest and Payette lakes.

The state owns the land under the cabins. On June 29, the state's high court overturned a state law that protected those leaseholders from having that land auctioned off.

The court ruled the protections violated the Idaho Constitution's requirement to maximize financial returns on endowment lands.

The Spokesman-Review reports that 354 cottage sites at Priest Lake and 167 at Payette Lake are affected.

Many cabin owners are putting off improvements to cabins and property until the state decides on changes to the lease program.

The state is working toward offering leaseholders the choice of either public auction for the land or a land exchange that meets strict requirements.