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Is the U.S. Forest Service Twitter Trying to Send Trump a Message?

Photo: @forestservice/Twitter

It has been several months since several Twitter accounts of the National Park Service — Death Valley weighing in on Japanese internment; Badlands tweeting about climate change, despite an apparent gag order from the Trump administration; the central NPS account tweeting photos of dismally small crowds at Trump’s inauguration — went “rogue.” (And then promptly stopped going rogue.) But this morning, the U.S. Forest Service (which, mind you, is a separate entity from the National Park Service) tweeted a photo of a severely damaged landscape in Arizona, taken after a fire in 2009, with the hashtag #HintsYoureInHell.

Now, it’s possible the Forest Service — which was affected by a Trump-ordered hiring freeze earlier this year that left people like seasonal workers and emergency firefighters concerned for their jobs, until the administration walked back some of the language surrounding the freeze and later lifted it entirely — just wanted to get those sweet follower clicks and engage with a popular hashtag. But it’s also possible, as pointed out by some on Twitter, the charred and leafless shot might be a subtle jab at the president. Trump, after all, doesn’t have the best track record with the nature and preservation business, donating his first presidential paycheck to the National Park Service, while simultaneously trying to pass a budget that would cut $1.5 billion from its annual funding. (Note: The U.S. Forest Service operates outside of the Department of the Interior, which controls the National Park Service.)

Is the U.S. Forest Service Trying to Send Trump a Message?