EXCLUSIVE: National Parks Service Denies Gov. Noem’s Request For Mt. Rushmore Fireworks Over ‘Adverse Effect’ On Local Tribes

(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
Font Size:

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem received a letter Thursday from the National Park Service rejecting her request for Independence Day fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

The Daily Caller first obtained the letter, which was sent by Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent Michelle Wheatley to Wanda Goodman, who works for the Governor at the South Dakota Department of Tourism. In the letter, Wheatley mentions that local tribes view the fireworks as an “adverse effect” on their traditional cultural views.

“Fireworks continue to be viewed by multiple Tribes as an adverse effect on the traditional cultural landscape,” Wheatley wrote in the letter. “This view was expressed by consulting Tribes in 2020 and has been reaffirmed by Tribal government representatives in subsequent meetings and letters.”


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

In 2021, Noem sent letters to three members of Congress from her state urging them for their assistance in making sure the fireworks display at Mount Rushmore does not get canceled under President Joe Biden’s administration.

Then, the Caller obtained three letters to the Republican lawmakers from South Dakota, including, Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds, and Rep. Dusty Johnson, in which Noem explains the importance of the fireworks display and also details the economic benefits of having the firework display at Mount Rushmore.

Noem told the Caller that she was worried about the display being canceled, as they were under former President Barack Obama’s administration, saying she could use the help of Republican members of Congress from the state to make sure they are not canceled again. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Kristi Noem Sends Letters To Members Of Congress Urging Against Canceling Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebrations)

“The Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration is the best way that we can celebrate America’s birthday. We lost our ability to hold this celebration during the Obama administration, so I’m asking our South Dakota delegation to help us advocate for this tremendous event,” Noem told the Daily Caller.

Former President Donald Trump helped bring back the fireworks celebration after they were banned in 2009 because of wildfire and pollution risks, NPR reported.