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State hires conflict specialist to deal with issues arising from growing wolf population

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SPOKANE, Washington — Washington state has hired a wildlife-conflict specialist to help reduce tensions caused by the state's growing population of wolves.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife hired Francine Madden, who is executive director of the Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration in Houston. The nonprofit works to resolve conflicts that arise when protecting animals leads to problems in local communities.

Madden was introduced Thursday to members of the agency's Wolf Advisory Group at a meeting in Spokane.

Madden recently completed a report for the department called "People and Wolves in Washington"

The report describes the controversy that surrounds wolf management efforts and includes several recommendations for dealing with problems.

The growth of wolf packs in northeastern Washington has sparked conflicts between the animals, ranchers and state officials.

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