Schweitzer said the breakdown in talks between the three states and the Obama administration makes it unlikely Congress will address the issue this year.
Western lawmakers have introduced multiple bills to strip protections from an estimated 1,700 wolves in the
The Fish and Wildlife Service has previously approved plans to hunt the predators in
Schweitzer said the administration was ready to back legislation to take wolves off the list in
"I was ready to go forward with a hunt in January of 170-something wolves," he said. "But the governors, we couldn't come to a consensus with the secretary of Interior about a possible legislative fix."
Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal would not confirm Schweitzer's description of a Monday conference call between the three governors and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
"That's Brian's perspective," he said.
Earlier Monday, Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said talks between the states and administration were continuing, but she did not elaborate. A spokesman for Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter did not return a call late Monday seeking comment.
Wolves lost their endangered status in
U.S. District Judge Donald Molly ruled in August that it was illegal to declare the animal recovered from near-extinction across a part of its range while it remained at risk in
Another federal judge, in