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Idaho officials are looking to increase the number of participants in state land auctions and raise more money by allowing remote bidding.

The announcement by the Idaho Department of Lands on Wednesday comes ahead of an Aug. 13 auction for 10 cottage sites at Priest Lake in northern Idaho in Coeur d’Alene and a 14-acre “high end” island. Payette Lake, a vacation spot in west-central Idaho and near McCall’s second-home town.

“The previous live auction process limited participation to those who attended in person,” Jim Elbin, division administrator for the trust’s land management division, said in a statement. “Remote bidding can increase competition in endowment auctions, which will help us fulfill our constitutional mandate to maximize returns for our endowment beneficiaries.”

Priest Lake lots can be viewed online at Corbett Bottle Real Estate Auctions and ProxieBid and the Idaho Department of Lands.

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Idaho announced that it would hold auctions for the lands and offer remote options.

Idaho announced that it would hold auctions for the lands and offer remote options.

The department is overseen by the Idaho Land Board, which consists of the governor and four other statewide elected officials. The state constitution requires the Land Board to maximize long-term financial returns, which primarily benefit public schools.

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Statewide, the Land Board directs the Department of Idaho to manage about 3,900 square miles of state-owned land. A major revenue producer on those lands is timber.

The decision to use remote auctions comes at a time when the Land Board is facing increasing pressure to sell off land that has increased the cost of land and exceeds the value of holding the land as a current asset. But state land, especially in the McCall area, is also valuable as public land available to outdoor recreationists.

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Idaho has been selling hundreds of residential properties in recent years as it gets out of the land rental business. The move was prompted by concerns that the state was not getting fair-market value for leases.