I don’t want to get too political here, but this is something worth talking about: our national parks are going rogue and Cuyahoga Valley National Park employees are part of the resistance.
Why They Went Rogue
Okay let me back up- rogue Twitter accounts didn’t pop up just because they want to. Here’s a little background about what happened that led to alternate accounts.
On inauguration day, the Trump administration released alternative facts regarding the inauguration attendance, causing yet another controversial discussion about the legitimacy of his leadership. Twitter users responded, sharing comparison photos of Trump’s inauguration crowd next to Obama’s 2009 crowd, debunking the administration’s false claims. The National Park Service account jumped in and retweeted the photo, fueling the fire.
The new administration followed up with an email to thousands of employees in the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service, stating that all Twitter accounts are to be shut down “until further notice.” The administration now says the shutdown was to ensure the security of the accounts. Below is a quote from the email, originally reported by The Washington Post:
“All bureaus and the department have been directed by incoming administration to shut down Twitter platforms immediately until further notice,” said an email circulated to thousands of Interior employees.
By the next day, the National Park Service account was back up and running and issued an apology for its retweet, but new accounts like the Alt National Park Service and Badlands NPS Fans were also on the scene, sharing sassy posts and starting heated conversations.
The Parks Fight Back
Trump has made plenty of offhand comments about climate change and other issues relating to the parks, but his order to shutdown the National Park Service Twitter account seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Employees from Cuyahoga Valley and eight other national parks created the Alt National Park Service, a growing coalition of park employees speaking out against the Trump administration. They even have a website for people to join their movement to preserve the environment for future generations. Below is a photo of a beach in Acadia National Park, originally posted on their Facebook page:
Individual parks also went rogue and nine national parks now have alternative accounts, but my personal favorite is Badlands NPS Fans. Although the Badlands account isn’t run by park employees, it still contributes to the conversation with its tongue and cheek posts about climate change and politics. Below are a couple of my favorite tweets, published on their feed:
Buzzfeed called this “the one protest no one saw coming,” a perfect description of the situation at hand. I mean, who would’ve thought that park rangers would lead a resistance against the President?