We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of issuing a proposed rule requested by the State of Colorado for its reintroduction and management of the gray wolf (Canis lupus). As part of the reintroduction and management planning process, the State has requested that the Service designate an experimental population under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. We are considering promulgating a section 10(j) rule to address components of the gray wolf restoration and management plan being developed by the State of Colorado. The proposed rule would set forth regulations to manage reintroduced gray wolves in Colorado and potentially adjoining States to reduce potential impacts to stakeholders while ensuring reintroduction and management of wolves is consistent with Federal regulations. We invite input from other Federal and State agencies, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, private-sector businesses, and members of the public on the scope of the EIS, alternatives to our proposed approaches for assisting in the reintroduction and management of the gray wolf in Colorado, and the pertinent issues that we should address in the EIS.
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