The Idaho Department of Lands' new director takes over as the agency is under pressure from conservatives over moves it has made to broaden holdings to boost investment returns.  The Land Board on Tuesday named Thomas Schultz, who is currently a Montana Department of Natural Resources administrator, to head the Idaho agency that oversees lake cottage sites, timber and grazing ground and downtown Boise property. The lands department wants to boost investment returns to benefit public schools, but critics say it went into competition with the private sector when it added a self-storage business last summer. Schultz also joins an agency that wants to reform how it sells land in its endowment portfolio to avoid cumbersome auctions and is also grappling with new interest in Idaho for natural gas exploration.

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