City Desk

UPDATED: Dan Snyder Never Replanted Trees, Says U.S. Park Service

View of deforested area contained in Department of Interior Inspector General's Report


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 Postagreeing 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."

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  • The Fed

    So, Indict him already. I'm sure there are ways to motivate him.

  • drez

    What a self centered prick.
    NPS needs to go in and replant those trees themselves- tall ones too, like oaks and tuplip poplars, and charge the fucker treble for the cost.
    Attach it as a lien on his propery taxes if necessary.

  • Rick Mangus

    I bright side to this is maybe Snider's house will fall into the Potomac, we can only wish!

  • Rick Mangus

    Correction: A not I.

  • Cuban Pete

    Dan Snyder - tyrannical twerp, known sufferer of Napoleonic syndrome, unable to impregnate his wife, known business failure, single-handedly promoting every stereotype of jews.

  • Bill Bird

    He's an idiot! If he planted saplings, he'd be dead before they obstructed his view!

  • Mary

    The Park Service needs to tell him to live up to his end of the bargain and then give him a time limit to plant the trees. Don't let him get away with this selfish behaviour.

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  • The Ghost of Jack Kent Cooke

    Glad to see you're back at it, Davey Boy! Cuban Pete is right. The twirp Snyder is what the Hebrews refer to as a shonda fir die goyim. I think they mean he's a bad example or a soiled diaper or something like that. He sure smells like the worst kind of dirty laundry.

    Keep at it, Davey!

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  • Rick

    Two people lost jobs over this scandal neither of which gave Dan Snyder permission in the first place. The person who allowed Dan Snidely whiplash Snyder to remove the trees is still working for NPS and received no punishment. Cover up or dispicable Crime. That perpetrator and Dan Snyder should be forced to plant the trees personally and watched over by armed guards. The deadline should be May 1 2011 or they both go to jail!!! And then they can do it chains!!!

  • Bill

    Seriously? Can the guy make one morally sound decision?

  • taxpayer

    Snyder lacks integrity for sure, but all he really did was ask the park service to cut the trees. In fact, it was unethical, self-serving NPS managers who failed to protect our resources, pandered to power and then made up a cover-up to mislead the public about what they did. Then, they obstructed the investigation and lied to the investigators. Read the linked investigative report, it is pretty interesting. Amazingly, the park superintendent still has his job... The park service isn't what it used to be.

  • Marco

    Danny just figures he's so rich, he's above the law.

    Gotta give WCP kudos for having the guts to publish this when The Danny is already suing them for the previous story!

    Good job guys!

  • insider

    Pretty lame article, Dave. There is so much more to this story than you either know or are reporting. We encourage you to keep digging, starting with the Superintendent Kevin Brandt, past park service Director, Fran Mainella, and of course, Dan Snyder. It might do you good to talk to the whistle blower, who was the law enforcement chief of the park. He got a raw deal.

  • RBG

    Arbor Day is April 29th. It would be fitting if we could get an update then.

    Dave, keep up the great work!