Noem applies for Mount Rushmore fireworks again after three years of denials



(The Center Square) – The skies at Mount Rushmore were dark again on July 4 for the third year, but South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Wednesday she would keep trying to bring fireworks back to the historic site.

The governor has applied to the National Parks Service to hold the light show on July 4, 2024.

“There is truly no better place to celebrate America’s Birthday than Mount Rushmore. The Biden administration has consistently denied us the ability to celebrate our nation’s freedom with fireworks,” Noem said. “We will keep fighting to host fireworks at Mount Rushmore and celebrate our freedoms.”

Fireworks returned to Mount Rushmore in 2020 after more than a decade after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Department of Interior and the governor.

But the applications were denied for 2021, 2022 and 2023. The National Park Service said previously fireworks would present a “clear and present danger” to wildlife and could damage the park.

“Additionally a fireworks event would likely require dedicated transportation for the visitors, as occurred in 2020,” Park Service officials said in their 2022 denial letter. “In the event of an emergency, evacuation would be hampered and pose a safety risk to attendees.”

Noem sued the Biden administration over its decision in 2021 but lost that case in 2022.

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