President Trump on Monday donated his first-quarter earnings as leader of the free world to the cash-strapped National Park Service—a total of $78,333. The check was presented to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who said, "I'm thrilled," and noted that the wad would go toward maintaining historic battlefield sites under the NPS domain.
"If I call five guys about Trump Tower, [and tell them] I want $2 billion... I'd have a check on my desk in 10 minutes," Trump once told a reporter. He also said, along the campaign trail, that he did not need taxpayers to compensate him. (Probably because he has those five dudes on speed-dial.) And his recent gesture to the park service makes good on that point. It also makes him a target for skeptics, who are saying this all smells like a publicity stunt, considering how much the park service would lose when Trump's budget goes into effect.
It's no secret that NPS is sitting on an expensive backlog of deferred maintenance projects. And so far Trump has proposed a cut of $1.5 billion, or 12 percent, from the Interior Department, which oversees the park service.
Highlights from NPS' back-burnered maintenance list include:
Everglades National Park (EVER, FLA) $78,218,848
Olympic National Park (OLYM, WA) $139,821,329
Yellowstone National Park (YELL, WY) $603,560,726
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GLCA, UT) $84,085,996
Statue of Liberty National Monument (STLI, NY) $160,641,367
Acadia National Park (ACAD, ME) $68,250,049