Critics Pounce as Trump Gives Part of His Salary to National Parks

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It’s been less than three weeks since President Donald J. Trump proposed slashing the Department of the Interior’s budget by roughly $1.5 billion. Now Trump is donating the first quarter of his presidential salary — approximately $78,333 — to the National Park Service.

Although the donation makes good on Trump’s campaign promise to give up his White House salary, its impact will arguably go largely unnoticed at the National Park Service, which is part of the Interior Department.

According to NPR, the salary donation will be used to help preserve America’s national battlefields — which are currently facing a maintenance budget deficit of $229 million.

Trump has proposed allocating just $11.6 billion to the Interior Department in 2018 — a cut of 12 percent from 2017, according to CNBC. Trump’s budget proposal, which was issued in March, is subject to congressional approval.

The Sierra Club called Trump’s salary donation merely a “publicity stunt,” says CNN Money.

“If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels,” Michael Brune, director of the Sierra Club, says in a statement.

Of course, you can also donate to the NPS and help sustain America’s national parks. According to the Park Service, you can donate your time or money — or both — to:

  • Individual parks
  • A park friends group
  • The National Park Foundation

The Park Service has two major campaigns that need “widespread public support.” According to the NPS:

  • Yosemite Conservancy is raising $20 million to restore Yosemite National Park’s Mariposa Grove. This project will preserve the trees and the extraordinary experiences they make possible, as well as the unique wildlife that call the Mariposa Grove home.
  • Grand Teton National Park Foundation has joined Grand Teton National Park in a $17 million, multi-year partnership project honoring the NPS centennial. This project will transform Jenny Lake’s trails, bridges, key destinations, and visitor complex creating an inviting trail system and captivating experience for the 21st century visitor.

Although Trump is donating his presidential salary, he also is costing taxpayers big money for security costs. For more, check out “Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 Million.”

What do you think of Trump’s decision to donate his first-quarter’s salary to the National Park Service? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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