All lands proposed to be leased under the provisions of this division shall be leased only upon the basis of competitive bids. The Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources shall obtain written, sealed competitive bids on every proposed lease of each tract of such land. Invitations for bids shall be published in The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama, at least 25 days before the final date for submitting bids. Invitations for bids shall contain a statement as to the final date for submitting bids; the time and place at which the bids will be opened; and a legal description of the location and the approximate acreage of the tract of land proposed to be leased. Publication of the invitations for bids shall also be placed in a newspaper published in the county or counties in which the land is located; however, if a typographical error appears in such ad or ads, same shall not invalidate the sale; provided, that no tract of land containing more than 5,200 acres shall be leased or advertised for lease under the provisions of this division.
Bids shall be opened publicly in the office of the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources at the time stated in the invitations for bids.
The lease of any tract of land shall be awarded to the highest responsible bidder making the most advantageous offer to the state, and the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources must either accept the most advantageous offer or reject all bids within five days from the date said bids were opened. The Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources may reject all bids on any tract of land when, in his opinion, the public interest will be served thereby, but such tract of land shall not thereafter be leased except in accordance with the provisions of this division.