Why does Donald Trump hate Sunset Park? Because there are dogs in it?

A dog in Sunset Park that the editor just happened to have on his phone.
A photo of a dog in Sunset Park that the editor just happened to have on his phone.

Nevada elected officials are pleased with Donald Trump’s decision last week to, as he put it, RESPECT Nevada and not try to restart the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump project in his 2021 budget request.

Meanwhile, there is so much more about Trump’s budget that Nevada officials and advocates do not like at all. As Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto put it, Trump’s budget “targets earned benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security, and ends Medicaid as we know it. It slashes crucial housing, food security and education programs.”

Trump’s budget also cuts something called the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

By 97 percent.

The budget would provide the fund with less than $15 million. In the 2020 budget, authorized by Congress, the fund received more than $900 million.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been put to good use in Nevada over the years. It has invested $60 million to upgrade the Lake Tahoe Basin, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Red Rock National Conservation Area.

Another $40 million in state assistance grants from the fund have benefited the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas and Sunset Park.

Meanwhile, Trump also hates Great Basin National Park, and Yellowstone and Yosemite, for that matter. He proposes cutting the National Park Service budget by $581 million.

Fortunately for wildlife in national parks — and dogs at Sunset Park — Trump’s war on parks has not gone well. For instance, he wanted to slash National Park Service funding last year, too. Congress ended up boosting it slightly

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.