National Park Service Says No to Fireworks at Mount Rushmore. Again.
Last September, state officials had applied for a fireworks permit at the memorial for the 2022 July 4th celebration.
'After careful consideration, the NPS has determined that we are unable to grant your request for this permit to hold a special event with fireworks at the Memorial.
Based on the information provided in the application, we have determined that multiple such criteria are present for the requested event, each of which would be independently sufficient to deny the request for a permit.'
Among the NPS concerns were 'an adverse effect to the traditional cultural landscape' and 'threats to the environment and Memorial resources due to current drought conditions and the 2022 wildfire outlook'.
Those objections are similar to the ones used by the agency to deny fireworks at the memorial every year since 2009, with the exception of 2020 when then-President Donald hosted a private Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore for 7,500 people.
That event included a fireworks display.
On the State of South Dakota's website, Governor Kristi Noem posted an open letter responding to the denial:
'Mount Rushmore is the best place in America to celebrate our nation’s birthday – I just wish President Biden could see that. Last year, the President hypocritically held a fireworks celebration in Washington, D.C., while denying us our own event.
This year, it looks like they are planning to do the same. NPS announced this denial less than 24 hours after we reminded the court that this year’s permit application was still pending. Many of the reasons presented for their denial have been previously addressed, indicating that these reasons are not in good faith.
We will move forward with our litigation and urge the court to help us come to a speedy resolution.'
The litigation the governor refers to is an April 30, 2021 lawsuit she filed against the Department of the Interior and National Park Service trying to get the fireworks ban overturned.
That lawsuit is still being considered by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.