Scotland yanks protected status from Trump’s golf course for destroying iconic dunes
President Donald Trump’s golf course in Scotland just had its protected environmental status revoked for destroying some of the prized dunes of Aberdeenshire.
The iconic sand dunes are one of Scotland’s “most valuable habitats” according to Scottish Natural Heritage conservation agency.
In 2007, however, the Scottish government foolishly believed Trump when he insisted that building his golf course in Aberdeenshire would not harm the dunes so his golf course would get protected status and any funding that comes with the designation. They approved his application over many objections, only to watch in horror as Trump flattened the dunes to make way for fairways and putting greens, all while doing nothing of economic value for the area.
Because of this destruction, Scottish Natural Heritage announced its decision this week to strip Trump’s golf course of this special protected status.
Scottish Natural Heritage director of people and nature Sally Thomas explained the decision to The Guardian.
“The denotification of SSSIs is unusual,” Thomas said. “However, in this case we have found there is no longer a reason to protect the dunes at Menie as they do not include enough of the special, natural features for which they were designated. Most of the time development can take place without damaging important natural features but this was not the case in this instance.”
Of course, Trump Scotland executive vice-president Sarah Malone is complaining by accusing the agency of making a politically motivated decision.
“This is an utter disgrace and shows SNH has hit an all-time low,” she said. “To make an announcement to the media before informing us, the actual landowner, shows how politically motivated this decision is. What other SSSI landowner is singled out in this way? It’s a stitch-up. Before Donald Trump invested in the site, SNH had little interest in the SSSI at Foveran Links and did even less about it, and has barely been on the property since. Trump International funds a team of leading geomorphological consultants, ecologists and environmental experts and has spent millions on the care, protection and maintenance of the small area of SSSI in Scotland that it owns and yet SNH has offered no support, guidance or help.”
Again, the government felt differently when Trump promised a massive economic development project in the area. But so far, he has only built a golf course and nothing else and has destroyed precious environment in the process. Trump lied. If anything, this decision by SNH is long overdue.
“Mr. Trump’s absurdly exaggerated claims of job creation and economic benefit have turned out not to be true. The tragedy is that was entirely foreseeable,” Councillor Martin Ford said. “The Scottish government’s support for Mr. Trump was a terrible decision. It has seen the amazing and beautiful Menie dunes destroyed and not delivered more than a tiny fraction of the jobs and investment Mr. Trump promised. The whole thing has been a shameful episode from which we must learn lessons for the future.”
Indeed, the main lesson being never trust Trump when he makes promises. Scotland now has a golf course that it doesn’t need and one that cost the nation some environmental treasures they can’t get back.
Featured Image: Wikimedia