On December 20, 2017, ninety-two documents describing national parks’ climate action plans were removed from the National Park Service (NPS) website. The documents detailed how national parks participating in NPS’s Climate Friendly Parks program are responding and will continue to respond to climate change.
In response to media inquiries, NPS indicated that the documents had been removed to comply with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, requiring electronic information and technology to be accessible to people with disabilities. A notice on the NPS website indicates that the “documents are temporarily unavailable for download while we work to make them compliant with newly revised 2018 federal accessibility standards.” NPS has indicated that compliant content will be returned by January 18, 2018.
On February 27, 2018, members of the House of Representatives Safe Climate Caucus wrote to President Trump to protest the removal of climate change information from federal agency websites. The Caucus members expressed “concern” that the removals “fundamentally interfere with the American public’s ability to access reliable information” about climate change and thus may “violate the intent of the Federal Records Act.”