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The Arctic Research Commission Has Gone Silent Under Trump

Just days after the Environmental Protection Agency was muzzled, the US Arctic Research Commission has gone silent.
January 25, 2017, 8:23pm

Update, Jan. 25: It appears the US Arctic Research Commission's Facebook page is actually up. The page linked to from the agency's website was either mislabeled or previously deleted. After deleting the tweet about "going on hiatus" this afternoon, the agency wrote on Facebook: "Posts will continue as before from USARC's 'Arctic Daily Update.' Glad you like them. Thanks for the input."

Today, the US Arctic Research Commission (ARC), which would have advised President Trump and Congress on research and natural resource development in the Arctic, tweeted this:


Less than an hour later, the tweet was deleted, but ARC's Twitter account remains up.

It's unclear why ARC is going "on hiatus" at this time, or what a "hiatus" means for the agency. No announcements have been made on the agency's website. This week, Trump announced a federal hiring freeze for all agencies, but this shouldn't have caused ARC to shut down.

ARC was responsible for various reports on the effects of climate change in the region, which the Trump administration is unlikely to have embraced. Especially considering the president's energy plans, which rely heavily on extracting fossil fuels from Arctic landscapes like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Attempts to reach representatives from ARC's press office were unsuccessful.

This latest Twitter episode comes less than a day after accounts for Badlands National Park and Golden Gate National Recreation Area shared facts about climate science. A spokesperson for the National Park Service said a former employee not authorized to use the government Twitter account was responsible for the tweets from @BadlandsNPS.

A spokesperson for Golden Gate National Recreation Area told Motherboard their "guidance is to continue engagement as normal, with the exception of social media posts on the Secretary of the Interior's policy priorities, which will be outlined upon confirmation."

The recent muzzling of Environmental Protection Agency employees, along with censorship fears regarding national parks, has led to the creation of a "resistance" account called @AltUSNatParkService. The account is allegedly managed by off-duty park rangers, and has been sharing information about climate change and Trump's impact on science.