Dan Snyder famously went all Paul Bunyan on a big swath of environmentally protected land behind his Potomac residence in 2004.
The National Park Service’s inspector general issued a report in 2006 that said the whole charade started when Snyder decided to add another floor to his already massive abode to house a ballroom. A complaint to the Interior Department says Snyder desired that Mother Nature in no way disrupt his “unobstructed view of the Potomac River.”
When he got permission from the Park Service to add the ballroom, permission which he needed because of an easement on the land, he also got approval to have more than 130 trees out back chopped down. Photos taken above the house that were included in the IG’s report show that Snyder’s handiwork turned the protected lands into an incredible brown eyesore.
All that chopping caused erosion on the hill between the house and the water, and caused a wall on the C&O Canal behind his home to collapse.
In 2005, Snyder settled disputes with Montgomery County and the National Park Service over the cuttings by, according to a report in The Washington Post, agreeing to “replant the deforested land.” I read about that settlement recently in the Examiner.
Last week, I checked to see if Snyder ever followed through on that pledge.
Nah. The Park Service tells me through all the words and the years, the trees remain unplanted
“The Park Service has presented a range of alternatives to the Snyders to move this forward,” says Brian Carlstrom, deputy superintendent of the C&O Canal Park, “and they haven’t been receptive to any of these to this date.”
On a related note, Carlstrom says the canal wall remains damaged.
And Snyder’s view of the river remains to die for.
UPDATE, 6 p.m. April 1: Channel 9 reporter Scott Broom filed a story this afternoon that featured shots of Snyder’s manse from the C&O canal. The pictures show a number of tree sleeves, apparently representing recently planted trees. Broom also said Carlstrom called this blog post “somewhat misleading.” Was it? When we contacted Carlstrom following Broom’s calls, he noted that while some trees have been replanted, others, closer to the retaining wall, remain unreplaced. “The replanting’s contingent on resolving the wall,” he said. “Maybe this will spur the Snyders to get this done.”
As to the accuracy of his quotes in the above post, Carlstrom said: “How you quoted me was fine. That’s what I said.”