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President Trump Donates $78,333 To National Park Service, Critics Label It Publicity Stunt

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Interior Department staff on Monday tweeted this photo of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke presenting a check representing President Trump's first three months' salary to the National Park Service.

President Trump on Monday donated his salary for the first three months of the year to the National Park Service, a move quickly ridiculed as a publicity stunt by some groups.

The donation, of $78,333, pales in comparison to the estimated $12 billion maintenance backlog facing the National Park System, and comes in the wake of a $1.5 billion budget cut the president is proposing for the Interior Department, which oversees the national parks.

“If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels. This publicity stunt is a sad consolation prize as Trump tries to stifle America’s best idea," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

"It's a distraction that falls far short of the $12 billion needed to address the current backlog of park maintenance and does nothing to offset the almost $2 billion Trump asked Congress to cut from the Department of the Interior in his budget. America’s parks, and the people and economies they support, need real funding, not a giant fake check. Parks are a good investment and we must invest now if we want them to be around for our kids.”

At the Center for Western Priorities, Deputy Director Greg Zimmerman said, "President Trump and Secretary (Ryan) Zinke should be embarrassed by today’s publicity stunt. You can’t propose $1.6 billion in cuts to our public lands, then pretend a $78,000 donation makes it better. The White House needs to protect America’s parks and public lands, not pay lip service to them."

Interior Secretary Zinke said the $78,333 would go to maintaining historic battlefield properties in the National Park System. The Interior secretary's tweet of the donation included a note stating that after the president made his donation, an anonymous donor contributed $22,000 to the National Park Foundation.

Comments

At least they got a check. Many of Trump's publicity stunt "donations" are still waiting for the money.


Rick - how much did you give?


Only those who have pitched in at least 78 Gs themselves are entitled to whine.  


My wife and I havde donated a quarter million dollars of our volunteer time to the national park system over the last five years, so yes we are entitled to whine about a stupid publicity stunt by a cheapskate incompetent president. Oh, and we aren't billionaires either. If Trump earlly cared about the national park system, his budget wouldn't cut their funding. Or he could donate some of those "billions" of dollars he supposededly has to dealing with the park's $12 billion dollar maintenance backlog.


So Ed, where does his budget cut the NPS funding?  You folks are so myopic you don't care about the nation as a whole only your little domain to which you believe your are entitled to be satisfied.  Sorry, we have bigger issues than NPS funding that need to be addressed first.  If our nation goes bankrupt, our NPS will be far worse for wear.  


I'm not myopic and I care for the nation as a whole.  That's why I am so disapointed in the president, because he has shown that he does not care for the nation as a whole.


Sorry Argalite, I disagree.  I believe what he is doing is far better for the nation than that which was done by his predecessor who proclaimed he didn't like American ("fundamentally transform")


Our current president, whose budget proposal cuts funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.6 billion (12%), would like to be congratulated for donating his first quarter presidential salary of $78,333. Meanwhile, he's spent seven of his weekends since inauguration at Mar-a-largo, and it's estimated that each trip costs taxpayers over $3 million. That's $21 million so far, just on trips to a resort in Florida. His budget cuts would eliminate some programs entirely, including the $13.2 million National Wildlife Refuge Fund and $20 million funding for National Heritage Areas. It's just a member of the mega rich donating what appears to be an astronomical sum of money to the average American as a publicity stunt and distraction tactic while sumultaneously levying incredible cuts elsewhere to the same organization. To quote a friend, "t's a public relations ploy to give people the impression that Trump has done something meaningful about the massive conflicts of interest he faces."


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