The move will turn control over the predators to state wildlife agencies. Public hunts for hundreds of wolves already are planned this fall in Idaho and Montana.
Western lawmakers attached a rider to the federal budget bill mandating the move for 1,300 wolves in the Northern Rockies. The rider blocked legal challenges and marked the first time Congress has stripped a species of protections. It came amid political pressure from agriculture and sporting groups to curb wolf attacks on livestock and big game.
About 4,200 wolves in the western Great Lakes also are due to come off the endangered list following a public comment period.