DENVER—In response to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement of $185,000 in matching funds for the restoration of Antietam National Battlefield, the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Deputy Director Greg Zimmerman:
“Honoring military sacrifice and conserving battlefields are things that all Americans can get behind. But this publicity stunt must be taken in context: President Trump and Secretary Zinke are proposing a crippling $1.6 billion budget cut to our national parks, battlefields, and other public lands. Their proposed budget slashes battlefield protection programs alone by more than $2 million. The president’s salary donation is a drop in the bucket, coming nowhere close to the funding gap his administration is trying to inflict on America’s parks.”
The Trump/Zinke budget, if adopted by Congress, would cut 1,242 full time equivalent National Park Service staff (6.4 percent), causing reductions in staffing and services at 90% of national parks. Their budget would also cut national park facilities and maintenance funding by $92 million.