Why would you risk setting a place like this on fire during the height of the annual summer drought? The state of South Dakota’s fireworks proposal carries significant dangers to park visitors and staff.
Today, the National Parks Conservation Association filed an amicus brief in support of the Department of Interior in Noem v. Haaland, asserting that the National Park Service was right to deny the State of South Dakota’s request to hold risky and unnecessary Fourth of July fireworks at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 2021.
NPCA is represented by Arnold and Porter, LLP in this case.
Previous fireworks at Mount Rushmore have had negative impacts there, resulting in the National Park Service discontinuing them for over a decade. The state of South Dakota sought to resume Fourth of July fireworks displays despite evidence that they risk wildfires and harm natural and cultural resources at Mount Rushmore, including sensitive resources of great importance to local Tribes and even the signature stone carvings for which the park is famous.
Statement of Christine Goepfert, Midwest Associate Director for The National Parks Conservation Association:
“We are committed to protecting Mount Rushmore from unnecessary fireworks displays proposed by the state of South Dakota. There are far better ways to celebrate America than risking visitor safety and actively harming this national park every Independence Day.”
“There is no question that Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of America’s most instantly recognizable landscapes. Every year, millions of people travel to South Dakota’s beautiful Black Hills to learn about America’s history in the shadow of Mount Rushmore’s distinctive mountains amid sprawling pine forests. Park lands and surrounding Black Hills are also sacred to Dakota Indigenous people, with sensitive tribal cultural resources.
“Why would you risk setting a place like this on fire during the height of the annual summer drought? The state of South Dakota’s fireworks proposal carries significant dangers to park visitors and staff, with a history of wildfires and water pollution from such displays. It is just not worth the risk.”
About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its nearly 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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