MINNEAPOLIS — Backers of a proposal to take wolves in the western Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered list are surprised that it didn't make it into a massive year-end congressional tax and spending package.

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, Reid Ribble, R-Wisconsin, and some other lawmakers had hoped to return management of wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming to the states, which could have opened the door to a resumption of wolf hunting there.

Peterson says budget negotiators dropped the rider from the final bill, which was unveiled late Tuesday, because the White House threatened a veto if the bill contained any changes to the Endangered Species Act. Peterson says he's surprised and disappointed.

Peterson says supporters will have to regroup and decide on their next step.