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We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) establish a rule for the nonessential experimental populations (NEPs) of the Western Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), so that in States and on Tribal reservations with Service-approved wolf management plans, we can better address the concerns of affected landowners and the impacts of a biologically recovered wolf population. In addition, States and Tribes with Service accepted wolf management plans can petition the Service for lead management authority for experimental wolves consistent with this rule. Within the Yellowstone and central Idaho experimental population areas, only the States of Idaho and Montana currently have approved management plans for gray wolves. The State of Wyoming has prepared a wolf management plan that was not approved by the Service. No Tribes have approved management plans. Therefore, at this point in time these regulatory changes only affect wolf management within the experimental population areas in Montana and Idaho. As we discussed in our advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding delisting the Western DPS of the gray wolf (68 FR 15879; April 1, 2003), once Wyoming has an approved wolf management plan, we intend to propose removing the gray wolf in the Western DPS from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This rule does not affect gray wolves in the Eastern DPS, the Southwestern DPS, or the non-experimental wolves in the Western DPS.