Wolves' return to Oregon brings conflict and opportunity

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Wolves have returned to Oregon after being killed off 70 years ago - and they're thriving.

Since the first wolves successfully crossed from Idaho about a decade ago, the population has boomed to at least 112 wolves in 2016.

Wolves have been so successful the state removed them from its endangered species list and they are no longer federally protected in one-third of the state.

But with success comes conflict - and Oregon's wolves are now at a crossroads.

Poaching cases have jumped, ranchers complain wolves are eating livestock and a hunter says he killed a wolf in self-defense.

The state will soon adopt a new wolf management plan as some press for a legal wolf hunt, ranchers ask for more leeway to kill wolves and conservationists demand stronger protections.

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