DENVER – The Rocky Mountain National Park Twitter account on Thursday posted it was celebrating 102 years of protection and encouraged followers to share their best memories with them.
— RockyNPS (@RockyNPS) January 26, 2017
The tweets come at a time when the National Park Service, along with other government agencies, seem to be running counter to President Donald Trump’s agenda of questioning the validity of climate science.
The RMNPS Twitter has, so far, kept its distance from tweeting anything related to climate change or public policy, but other federal agency accounts have been actively participating against media blackouts imposed this week by the Trump administration.
How it all began
The issue over what information the National Park Service could tweet to the public became a conversation after department officials retweeted a pair of posts that seemed to take a jab at the president – more specifically, the size of the crowd attending his Inauguration last Friday.
The Interior Department issued a department-wide freeze on tweeting form all its official accounts for a day saying the retweets, “were inconsistent with the agency's approach to engaging the public through social media."
"Out of an abundance of caution, while we investigated the situation involving these tweets, the Department of Interior's communications team determined that it was important to stand down Twitter activity across the department temporarily, except in the case of public safety," said Interior Department spokesman Tom Crosson.
We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you pic.twitter.com/mctNNvlrmv
— NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) January 21, 2017
Official accounts take action
But the National Park Service’s tweet against Trump spread to other employee’s Twitter account by Wednesday, with several accounts sharing information about climate change on official media accounts.
Just a day after three climate change-related tweets sent out by Badlands National Park were deleted, Redwoods National Park in California tweeted that “redwood groves would mean less #climatechange.”
The Golden Gate National Park, also in California, tweeted that 2016 was the hottest year on record for a third straight year, directing followers to a report created by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, commonly known as NOAA.
Other tweets tackled immigration – Death Valley National Park tweeted photos of Japanese interment camps during World War II while the Defense Department shared a story about an Iraqi immigrating who returned to his country to fight as a U.S. Marine.
No one from the Trump administration has complained about the tweets, National Park Service spokeswoman Abby Wines told the AP.
Crosson declined to comment on any of the tweets put out by the park service accounts, but said there is no restriction on agency use of Twitter or other social media platforms, the AP reported.
“There's no gag order on national parks that would prevent people from tweeting," Crosson told the AP in a phone interview Wednesday.
A statement from the park service states social media managers of the accounts are encouraged to continue posting “information relating to public safety and park information, with the exception of content related to national policy issues.”
Federal agencies are now going rogue
Among the federal agencies, there is now a growing resistance to combat Trump’s agenda. The move follows media blackouts imposed upon the Environment Protection Agency and the brief suspension of all Interior Department Twitter accounts.
Rogue Twitter accounts such as @AltUSNatParkSer have popped up over the last few days and started tweeting climate change data.
Other accounts include @ActualEPAFacts, @RogueNasa, @AltForestServ and @BadHomesNPS.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.