BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he would have preferred the sage grouse receive federal protections rather than navigate new federal regulations designed to protect the bird's habitat.

Otter spoke to land management officials on Tuesday. He said he wasn't sure if the state would win in its current lawsuit against the federal government regarding the listing decision but that the state's lawsuit was attracting supporters from other states. The Interior Department decided in September to deny protections for the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

The same day, the agency released final changes to federal land-use plan in 11 Western states. Idaho's lawsuit claims the federal government wrongly ignored the state's efforts to prevent the bird from being listed.