Judge won't revisit Easton ruling

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A proposed land swap involving Camp Easton, a historic Boy Scout camp, can proceed, according to a judge's decision handed down Thursday.

Judge John Luster reaffirmed his earlier ruling to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts seeking to block the deal.

Inland Northwest Council leaders were pleased with Luster's conclusion.

"This allows the council to evaluate and pursue all options that will enhance and secure our long-term ability to provide a great Scouting experience for youth in the Inland Northwest now and in the future," INC officials stated in a press release.

Camp Easton Forever, Inc., in conjunction with the other plaintiffs from the case, filed an appeal in June of Luster's dismissal of the group's suit to prevent the camp's sale or trade.

Camp Easton Forever had filed a lawsuit against the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts last year to block the proposed land swap of Camp Easton at Gotham Bay, and Luster's original ruling was issued in May. The INC is in negotiations with Discovery Land Company over exchanging the camp property for a new camp at Sunup Bay and an endowment for maintenance of scout camps.

Thursday's press release said the INC is discussing with Discovery Land Company terms for a new Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

"If we reach an agreement, then the final proposal will go to our executive board and foundation board for approval or rejection. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached or if our boards do not approve an agreement, Camp Easton will remain at its current location," the release said.

Council leaders say the proposed camp would offer advantages including year-round facilities, new program facilities, and improved safety and security and seclusion without a highway dividing the camp.

"Our goal is to serve more youth in the Inland Northwest with the best Scouting program possible," said Tim McCandless, Scout Executive & CEO of the Inland Northwest Council.

The potential agreement would also provide a $2.5 million endowment to INC.

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