State of South Dakota Applies for Mount Rushmore Fireworks Permit
After being rejected by the National Park Service (NPS) in 2021, the State of South Dakota is trying to bring fireworks back to Mount Rushmore for 2022.
Wednesday (September 29), the South Dakota Department of Tourism, on behalf of Governor Kristi Noem, submitted an application to the NPS for a special use permit for the 2022 Mount Rushmore Independence Day Fireworks Celebration.
In a press release, Governor Noem said:
'There truly is no better place to celebrate America’s birthday than Mount Rushmore, our nation’s enduring Shrine to Democracy. Despite their arbitrary decision to cancel the 2021 Fireworks Celebration, the Biden Administration has an opportunity to work with us to celebrate next year and for the years to come.'
The NPS's rejection of a permit for the 2021 celebration prompted the Governor to file a lawsuit, naming the Secretary of the Interior, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, the Director and Deputy Director of Operations of the National Park Service, and the National Park Service Director of the Midwest Region as defendants.
That lawsuit, Noem v. Haaland, is currently being considered by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The NPS had banned fireworks at Mount Rushmore after the 2009 July 4th celebration, because of the potential of wildfires and contamination of drinking water.
The Noem administration did get the Department of the Interior to sign a Memorandum of Agreement in May of 2019, agreeing to allow fireworks to return to Mount Rushmore for a July 3, 2020 celebration which was attended by then-President Donald Trump.