Wolves thriving in Washington, but only east of the Cascades

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Wolves are thriving in Washington, primarily on the eastern side of the Cascade Range.

That has sparked conflict because much of the support to bolster the wolf population comes from urban and liberal western Washington, but the negative impacts strike eastern Washington. One solution is for wolves to disperse across the state more quickly, wildlife officials say.

A wolf recovery expert with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says he believes a few wolves have already moved into western Washington, but haven't been conclusively documented yet.

Earlier this month, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife released its annual survey of Washington's wolf population.

The survey found that the number of wolves grew by more than 30 percent in 2014, and that four new packs were formed last year.