Wolf talks at impasse, Schweitzer says

BILLINGS – Montana’s governor said negotiations to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list have hit an impasse after Wyoming and Idaho refused to go along with an Interior Department proposal.

Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Monday the breakdown in talks between the states and the Obama administration makes it unlikely Congress will act on the issue this year.

Lawmakers from the Northern Rockies have introduced at least four bills to strip protections from an estimated 1,700 wolves in their region. The measures came after a court ruling this summer restored the animal’s endangered status.

Schweitzer said the administration wanted to take wolves off the list in Montana and Idaho and give Wyoming three years to craft an acceptable management plan for the predators.

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