AltUSNatParkService

Let me start by saying that I’m a huge fan and frequent user of our National Park System. I’m also a dedicated and lifelong conservationist, concerned with our natural environment that is the basis of all life. So please don’t take the following as being opposed to true environmentalism. I’m not. I’m opposed to political activism under the name and imprimatur of the National Park Service.

After the Trump Administration told the Department of the Interior to shut down all their Twitter accounts because they were being used for partisan political purposes by Democratic government employees, some National Park Service employees got in a huff about how their rights were being violated. So they put together a new Twitter account called AltUSNatParkService. Here’s the header on their page, in case they change it:altusnatparkservice

I cracked up when I saw that, I thought “Man, they just hung themselves out to dry, they just blew it bad!”.

Setting that question aside for the moment, under the aegis of this new account they are all about the climate and other virtue-signalling subjects, viz:

altnatpark-2

They’re organizing meetings and the like because of these fears. Gotta say … I’m getting tired of people trotting out their fears and using these fears to justify all kinds of actions. I get it that folks are afraid. And I know that the fear they feel is real. But that is not sufficient reason for me to automatically take their fears seriously and buy into their fright, particularly if little untoward has happened to date. It’s just baseless fears.

In any case, they’ve shot themselves in the foot. They are putting themselves out as  if they represent or are part of the real National Park Service, both by their name and even to the extent of using the official arrowhead emblem of the Park Service on their Twitter site, as seen above. Clearly amateur hour. Here’s more about the arrowhead, it’s not some random symbol.

What is the origin of the National Park Service arrowhead?
The arrowhead was authorized as the official National Park Service emblem by the Secretary of the Interior on July 20, 1951. The components of the arrowhead may have been inspired by key attributes of the National Park System, with the sequoia tree and bison representing vegetation and wildlife, the mountains and water representing scenic and recreational values, and the arrowhead itself representing historical and archeological values. Read more about the history of the arrowhead and other elements of NPS visual design.

Why is their using the arrowhead a huge mistake? Because using it is not just a bad idea. It is a crime to use the official NPS “arrowhead” emblem without specific permission from the NPS:

Use of the NPS arrowhead symbol and badge is governed by 36 CFR Part 11Unauthorized use is a criminal offense, punishable in accordance with 18 USC 641 and 701.

And because that defines it a Federal crime (USC for “US Code”), that lets the Administration call in the FBI to identify the anonymous folks behind this account. And being NFS employees they can hardly claim ignorance of the law. When they sign on, in their New Employee Handbook they are given links to the following:

Documents Containing Selected Topic

As a result, it should be very easy to find and fire these government employees for cause, because they are falsely representing themselves by using the official NPS arrowhead, and they know or should know that’s both illegal and wrong. However … civil service laws may get in the way.

And if the civil service laws do get in the way, I sincerely hope Trump adds those laws to his list.

The best part to me about these kinds of spontaneous outbursts of righteous indignation is their generally Darwinian nature … and after eight years of government employees being allowed to run wild as long as it was the approved liberal and Democratic style of wild, I suspect we’ll see more of these outbursts before we run out of candidates for the Bureaucratic Darwin Award.

The tragedy in this is that it detracts from majesty and mystery of the parks that these folks are supposed to protect, and makes them into a political football. That we don’t need.

w.

PS – If you are commenting please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING. That way we can all understand just what your subject is.

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20 thoughts on “AltUSNatParkService

  1. For some reason, there are a lot of government employees who seem to think they cannot be terminated. It may be true that they have protections that most of us in private employment never had, but they’d better be cognizant of the fine print in their employment contracts, and in policy/procedure manuals.

    I would bet that anyone can be terminated “for cause,” and that defiance of valid and legal instructions from management is an offense for which termination is a remedy. Termination “for cause” is generally straightforward if the “cause” can be proven, and these dolts have made it a pretty easy case to prove.

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  2. Part of the reason many people are disgusted by Big Government is that far too many federal employees believe they enjoy a special status, are accountable to no one and are guarantied employment.

    They ARE “The Swamp.”

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  3. “… but you can never take our free time”.

    Oops, there goes the other foot.

    I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that these fools set all this up on work time.

    Willis, maybe a direct link to their Twit page and a quick scan of the times they are posting would be of interest.

    regards, Greg

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  4. When the Democrats eventually try to impeach Trump, and they will, CAGW may well be the basis of their “case”. It will be glorious vindication for skeptics if this happens.

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  5. I went over to the twitter account and scanned some of their postings. The original people who set up the account have given control over the account to “several activists and journalists” who are from “various countries”. Here are a couple funny posts..

    “Several of us are environmental activists and two are journalists [our FACT checkers]. All of us are former scientists.” And the next one was “Just checking….Yup….we’ve got more scientists and fact checkers running a Twitter account than Donald Trump has in his cabinet.” So, in their minds, they can be both former scientists and scientists. And, I wonder what is their definition of scientist.

    And one of them must have read your post since this is noted… “One aspect we’ve had to consider over the past few days are legal ramifications, such as criminal prosecution for the use of the NPA’s logo.” I guess their fact checking task does not include proofreading – NPA?

    They are asking for help in designing a new logo, but they are dumb enough to keep using the NPS logo They could have put in anything as a temp picture. Ok – they just got a new logo, but it took a few hours.

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    • Good question, John, dunno. I suspect it would be covered under the “fair use” exemption, particularly given the subject and tone of the article. I also suspect that it could only be determined by an actual court case … but then IANAL.

      In any case, the NPS is welcome to issue a “Cease And Desist” order, I’d love that, traffic would spike through the roof. Not to worry, I’m a guy who kidnapped Ronald Reagan, so I figure I can make it through this …

      w.

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  6. “I’m getting tired of people trotting out their fears and using these fears to justify all kinds of actions.”

    Fears, and in particular fears about future harm as in “free floating fears” are symptoms of mental health disorders: anxiety and depression. In general, these fears are characterized by apprehensive expectations about events or activities. Around 4% of the US population has these symptoms severe enough to have its own ICD-10 code of General Anxiety Disorder. In the spectrum of this disorder one may find our climate activists, still able to hold a job, yet appear to be paralyzed by their fear of global climate change and its consequences. I’m speculating of course as I have not met all the more than enthusiastic climate change activists. However, the one’s I have met, or come to my door to speak with me regarding very important issues surrounding coal fired power plants, I have worried about their safety, engrossed as they are, going door-to-door, crossing a dark street, on a dark night, burdened with dark thoughts about events that are unlikely to come to past. Maybe, like one does on Halloween, I should have a bowl of Valium next to the front door and pass out such candy to the “trick-or-treaters.”

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    • “Maybe, like one does on Halloween, I should have a bowl of Valium next to the front door and pass out such candy to the “trick-or-treaters.”

      A tradition that I started one cold Halloween was to offer a treat to parents. Many initially said no since they thought I meant candy. When I disclosed that the treat was a glass of wine (alas, in plastic glasses), many took the offer. This year, I had a group of five moms who told me that were looking for my house and they ran up my front lawn which has a good slope. After I served them, they insisted that I join them in a toast. It was fun! When they left, I kept thinking about Pavlov and B.F.Skinner.

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    • “In the spectrum of this disorder one may find our climate activists, still able to hold a job”

      Actually no, most climate activists don’t have jobs. They pay for their activities from the generous unemployment benefits the government gives them.

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  7. I hope the majority of the comments on this issue have now been made, so will go off at a tangent.
    The 2nd screen shot you use claims Joshua Trees will notice the changing climate.
    In the Sat/Sun WSJ (Jan. 14/15) there is an article titled “Surveyors Branch Out to Take Stock of Trees” – the Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program. This program uses a large sampling of circular spaces (known as plots and subplots).
    Here are 2 quotes from the WSJ article:
    “… but for the most part, the country’s forest have remained stable for the last century.”
    And:
    “But in terms of the total land base we define as forest, we still have about the same area as we did in 1910.”

    a) Don’t know if Joshua Trees are considered forests;
    b) There is an annual 4 page summary for each state, and every fifth year there is a comprehensive report; data is public;
    c) have not tried to find this stuff, yet.

    As an aside, I wandered into one of these plots a few years ago while in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington State.

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  8. When I was about 13 years-old, my Scout troop got about 1000 pine saplings from some government agency. I can’t remember if it was Fed, or State. They showed us how to plant the saplings in a large area that they were reclaiming from prairie land. This was in central Missouri, about 1962.

    About 30 years later, I made a side trip to inspect. The heavily wooded acreage looked “primitive”, almost as if there had never been humans there before. Some pine trees were probably over 80 feet tall.

    When we were given the pine saplings, we did not know if the “agents” were Democrats or Republicans. There were no politics involved. Everyone just wanted to plant trees.

    I wonder how many of these “agents” these days have ever planted a tree.

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