I haven't seen the statement, but this brief story in the Hanford Sentinel suggests that the west Valley farmers have finally got the Smelt jobs impact about right, 2,000 jobs. That number is very close to my estimate, so I am pleased to see this story.
Now if the local politicians and media can just adopt this reasonable number, we could have a productive discussion about solutions. Unfortunately, the local pols and media continue to throw around inflated job loss estimates estimates to fuel public hysteria. Very recently, the Governor has blamed 35,000 jobs on the Smelt, and some state representatives and others saying 90,000 jobs. Those are the inflated claims that the Interior Department are responding too in their statement that says it isn't the Smelt.
Officials at the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority issued a statement today claiming that 100,000 acres went unplanted and 2,000 jobs have been lost on the Westside because of federal pumping cutbacks to protect the endangered Delta smelt fish.
The statement refutes a document released Thursday by the U.S. Department of the Interior that claims that it’s “not true” that “water shortages and high unemployment rates in California’s Central Valley are the result of a manmade, 'regulatory’ drought, as opposed to natural conditions.”