National Park Service staff step up campaign
Herald and News 1/26/17
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service employees’ Twitter
campaign against President Donald Trump spread to other parks on
Wednesday, with tweets on climate change and a reminder that
Japanese Americans were forcibly interned in camps and parks
during World War II.
A day after three climate-related tweets sent out by Badlands
National Park were deleted, other park accounts have sent out
tweets that appear to defy Trump. One, by Redwoods National Park
in California, notes that redwood groves are nature’s No. 1
carbon sink, which capture greenhouse gas emissions that
contribute to global warming.
“More redwoods would mean less #climatechange,” the park said in
Golden Gate National Park in California said in a tweet that
2016 was the hottest year on record for the third year in a row.
The tweet directed readers to a report by NASA and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA.
Trump has called climate change a hoax, and many readers saw the
climate-related tweets as a message of defiance to the new
The tweets went beyond climate change.
Death Valley National Park tweeted photos of Japanese Americans
interned there during World War II, a message that some saw as
objecting to Trump’s pledge to ban Muslims from entering the
country and a proposal to restrict the flow of refugees to the
Tom Crosson, the chief spokesman for the park service, declined
to comment on any of the tweets sent out by park service
accounts, but he said there is no restriction on agency use of
Twitter or other social media.
“There’s no gag order on national parks that would prevent
people from tweeting,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Three climate-related tweets sent out by the Badlands park
account were deleted after they went viral on Twitter, sparking
debate over whether the park was defying the Trump
The South Dakota park posted tweets Tuesday that accurately
quoted climate science data, including the current
record-setting high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the
The park service said in a statement that several tweets on the
Badlands account were posted by a former employee who was not
authorized to use the account. “The park was not told to remove
the tweets but chose to do so when they realized that their
account had been compromised,” the statement said.
Social media managers for the park service “are encouraged to
continue the use of Twitter to post information relating to
public safety and park information, with the exception of
content related to national policy issues,” the statement said.
The Badlands tweets were shared thousands of times, and the
Democratic National Committee circulated the message by email
with the subject line “Resist.
That message — resist — was featured on massive banner unfurled
atop a 270-foot construction crane blocks from the White House.
A spokesman for the environmental group Greenpeace said
protesters who climbed the crane to place the banner are
encouraging resistance to Trump and his agenda, including
executive orders signed Tuesday to boost the Keystone XL and
Dakota Access pipelines, both of which were blocked by President
The tweets by the park service accounts came after the Interior
Department briefly suspended park service accounts and others
run by Interior in response to photos retweeted by the park
service during Trump’s inauguration.
The photos contrasted turnout at Friday’s inauguration with
previous ceremonies. Trump has claimed without evidence that
turnout at his event was larger than reported by news media.
The Interior accounts were reactivated the next day.
Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center
for Mutual Respect, a human rights organization, said Trump’s
orders to build a wall on the Mexican border and restrict
refugees from entering the country retracts “the promise of
American freedom to an extent we have not seen from a president
since Franklin Roosevelt forced Japanese Americans into
internment camps during World War II.”
The Statue of Liberty — another park service site — “weeps over
President Trump’s discrimination,” he said.
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