(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The National Parks Service rejected a request from South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem to have fireworks at Mount Rushmore for Independence Day this year, due to concerns about them having “adverse effect[s]” on local Indian tribes.
Michell Wheatley, who works for the National Parks Service, scolded that local tribes frown on the fireworks, as they are contrary to 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.”
The four-page letter also indicated that the fireworks show “poses threats to the environment and Memorial resources,” and would “unreasonably interfere with interpretive, visitor service, or other program activities.”
Parks officials also argued that the celebratory event may be an “inconvenience to members of the public who will not be participating in the event and who may not be interested in observing it.”
The letter does not mention any specific Tribes or Tribal representatives who made statements arguing against the fireworks show.
In 2021, Noem sent letters to several members of Congress requesting legislative assistance to ensure the annual fireworks show could continue during the Biden regime.
“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 said.
The Obama administration cancelled the display in 2009 due to alleged wildfire and pollution risks.
Former President Donald Trump restored the tradition after the ban.