The “alternate” National Park Service Twitter account. (Screen shot via Twitter)

President Trump, known for his outspoken Twitter presence, is getting a run for his money from the National Park Service (NPS).

On Tuesday, someone at Badlands National Park in South Dakota fired off a series of tweets about climate change, as reported by Huffington Post, “just one day after sources inside the Environmental Protection Agency revealed employees had been instructed to freeze all its grants and halt any social media posts or external press releases” and several days after the Interior Department was banned from Twitter for posts that put Trump in a negative light.

The Badlands National Parks tweets were deleted mere hours after being posted. News outlets, however, continued to circulate screen shots of the “rogue” tweets.

While the NPS may seem like one of the tamer departments in U.S. government, it quickly became the subject of scandal last week when it compared the crowd size for Trump’s inauguration against that for Barack Obama in 2009.

The newly instated Trump administration then banned the Interior Department from Twitter; the account was reinstated only after the NPS publicly apologized.

Then, the news broke Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency had frozen all its grant programs. Huffington Post reports:

An EPA staffer provided the information to the congressional office anonymously, fearing retaliation.

It’s unclear whether the freeze is indefinite or temporary as the agency transitions fully to the Trump administration; the Senate has not yet confirmed Trump’s pick for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. It’s also not clear the immediate impact the grant freeze would have on programs across the country, since EPA grants are distributed at varying intervals and frequency. …

The Huffington Post received a message that was reportedly sent to staff Monday that seems to cover the current agency guidance on talking to the press in general, not just about the directive on grants. The memo states that the agency is imposing tight controls on external communication, including press releases, blog posts, social media and content on the agency website.

Rather than staying silent, however, the scientific community has responded to the social media blackout in force.

AltUSNatParkService” quickly picked up followers for tweeting out climate change statistics. “The Unofficial ‘Resistance’ team of U.S. National Park Service,” the account’s bio reads. And it’s apparently not just a “fan” account either:

“You can take our official twitter,” it also tweeted, “but you’ll never take our free time!”

The account, while full of snarky comments directed at Trump, also links to important information on the climate, which may be in peril under Trump’s administration:

This “alternate” NPS twitter account is not the only one fighting social media repression. NASA Climate, an official government account, has also tweeted numerous climate change facts in the days since Trump’s inauguration:

These “rogue tweeters” may not stay under the radar much longer. Numerous members of the scientific community, including the “alternate” NPS account, have linked to the “Scientist’s March on Washington”:

The march, according to its website, is open to “[a]nyone who believes in empirical science.”

It adds:

Although this will start with a march, we hope to use this as a starting point to take a stand for science in politics. Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy. This is a non-partisan issue that reaches far beyond people in the STEM fields and should concern anyone who values empirical research and science.

There are certain things that we accept as facts with no alternatives. The Earth is becoming warmer due to human action. The diversity of life arose by evolution. Politicians who devalue expertise risk making decisions that do not reflect reality and must be held accountable. An American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world.

While these Twitter stunts may seem trivial in the wake of events surrounding the new presidency, social media is likely to continue to play a crucial role in defying the Trump administration.

Reports have already begun to surface that the EPA will be forced to take down its page on climate change. Trump’s administration has already removed information about climate change on the official White House website. And on Tuesday, Trump signed an executive order to advance the construction of two highly contested oil pipelines.

“The National Parks, forest and wilderness reserves in our country are our greatest natural assets,” the alternate NPS account tweeted Tuesday. “We’re scared for the future.”

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