By Associated Press - Monday, August 13, 2018

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Federal officials are taking public comment on a proposed oil-and-gas lease sale in December in Montana and western North Dakota.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is proposing to sell leases for 102 parcels covering 69,270 acres in 20 Montana counties and one North Dakota county.

BLM officials say in a statement the 15-day comment period seeks input on issues and potential impacts of drilling those parcels.

The public comment period ends Aug. 24. The BLM will use the comments and its environmental assessment to decide whether to proceed with the lease sale.

An earlier sale of oil and gas leases near Livingston and the foothills of the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges was postponed in March after concerns were raised about drilling in an area dependent on tourism.

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