Quantcast

Trump’s July 4 Charade Will Take $2.5 Million Away From National Parks Funds

Politics
Trump asked the Pentagon for military hardware, including tanks, to be displayed on the National Mall Thursday. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Donald Trump's "Salute to America" Fourth of July event will divert almost $2.5 million from national parks, two sources familiar with the situation told The Washington Post Tuesday.


Previous Independence Day celebrations have had a total price tag of around $2 million, former National Park Service Deputy Director Denis P. Galvin told The Washington Post. But Trump's festivities will include flyovers from military jets including the Blue Angels, a display of tanks on the National Mall, and what Time reported will be the largest fireworks display in Washington, DC's history. The nearly $2.5 million diverted from the parks will only cover a fraction of the cost, The Washington Post said.

That money will come from park entrance and recreation fees, which usually go towards maintenance and improvement. The National Park System currently has a $12 billion maintenance backlog, The Huffington Post reported. The park money directed towards Trump's event would typically have gone to improving the visitor experience at the National Mall or funding projects at smaller parks such as road repairs and habitat restoration, according to The Washington Post. The total equals around five percent of what lower-earning parks paid for upgrades last year.

"This is a breach of trust with the public," National Parks Conservation Association President and CEO Theresa Pierno told The Washington Post. "The public pays parks fees to fix national parks and for educational programs, not the president's parade."

Trump first expressed desire for a military-style parade after attending the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris in 2017. Plans for a similar event on Veterans' Day and Fourth of July 2018 were abandoned when the price tag ballooned to $92 million, Time reported. There were also concerns that tanks would damage Washington, DC's roads. Thursday's event will not include a parade, but the tanks displayed on the National Mall could still damage the grass and roads, The Huffington Post reported.

The event will also feature a speech from the president, a breach of tradition, as no president since 1987 has been featured in Washington, DC's Fourth of July event so as not to politicize the day, Time explained.

Trump's decision came under even more scrutiny when The Huffington Post revealed Monday that tickets to the event, and the president's speech, were being offered to donors by the Republican National Committee.

"We've never seen anything like this," New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, told The Washington Post. "No ticketed political event should be paid for with taxpayer dollars."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Lara Hata / iStock / Getty Images

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Rice is a staple in many people's diets. It's filling, inexpensive, and a great mild-tasting addition to flavorful dishes.

Read More Show Less
Hinterhaus Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Lindsay Campbell

From pastries to plant-based—we've got you covered.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
An image of the trans-alaskan oil pipeline that carries oil from the northern part of Alaska all the way to valdez. This shot is right near the arctic national wildlife refuge. kyletperry / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The Trump administration has initialized the final steps to open up nearly 1.6 million acres of the protected Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to allow oil and gas drilling.

Read More Show Less
Westend61 / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Vegetarianism has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Read More Show Less
Kaboompics / Pexels

Tensions between lawmakers and several large manufacturing companies came to a head on Capitol Hill this week during a hearing on toxic fluorochemicals in U.S. drinking water.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A male african lion plays with his 4 month old cub at Big Marsh in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nick Garbutt / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

A Florida man has been allowed to import a Tanzanian lion's skin, skull, claws and teeth, a first since the animal was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, according to US Fish and Wildlife Service records uncovered by the Center for Biological Diversity through the Freedom of Information Act.

Read More Show Less

By Julie Dermansky

A fracked natural gas well in northwest Louisiana has been burning for two weeks after suffering a blowout. A state official said the fire will likely burn for the next month before the flames can be brought under control by drilling a relief well.

Read More Show Less

The universe is expanding much quicker than previously thought, according to researchers in Germany, leading scientists to suggest it may be more than 2 billion years younger than past estimates.

Read More Show Less