The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has been hurting salmon recovery more than it has been helping it, according to a scathing draft report completed in August 2000 but not made public until Monday. Officials from Okanogan County, Wash., released copies of the document after it had been leaked to them. The report by the inspector general in the Commerce Department, in which NMFS is housed, found that efforts to protect salmon had been hampered by the agency’s “inconsistent, unresponsive, and unnecessarily arrogant and confrontational” behavior. The inspector general’s office interviewed 34 government, tribal, and industry officials; more than 80 percent of them said the fisheries service had “failed” in collaborative salmon efforts.

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