CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Federal officials say they are ready to proceed with scheduled oil and gas lease sales despite arguments by environmental groups that public comments haven't been fully reviewed because of the recent government shutdown.

Nearly 150,000 acres of land in Wyoming is set to be put up for the first-quarter auction in March.

Courtney Whiteman, spokeswomen for the Bureau of Land Management, says the leasing team completed much of the work for the auction before the shutdown began.

She says some employees continued to work during the shutdown to address public comments.

Whiteman says the agency received 17 distinct comments, with officials finding 119 separate issues that needed responses.

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