Redskins owner tried to pay Park Service $25,000 to remove trees

Updated: August 10, 2005, 3:07 PM ET
Associated Press

POTOMAC, Md. -- Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder offered to pay the National Park Service $25,000 four years ago in return for permission to cut down trees near his house that obscured his view of the Potomac River.

The offer was turned down because the area was environmentally protected, The Washington Post reported, citing documents from the Interior Department. But the superintendent of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Douglas Faris, said in a letter that Snyder could make a "general donation" to the park not connected to his property.

The records are part of an ongoing review of the Park Service decision last fall to allow Snyder to cut down 130 trees from an easement he owns between the C&O Canal and his $10 million estate.

The move is under review by the Interior Department's inspector general to determine if the Park Service was pressured into making a deal. Montgomery County is also investigating whether Snyder violated local conservation laws by removing the trees without permission of the planning board.

Snyder's representatives claim he received no special treatment, and that the Park Service got more than $100,000 in concessions from Snyder. The Redskins owner also cleaned up what was a tangled mass of non-native trees, replacing them with 600 native saplings, according to Snyder's spokesman Mike Sitrick.

The National Park Foundation has not received a donation from Snyder or the Redskins in the past three years, according to a spokeswoman. It is not clear if he donated to an individual park.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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