South Dakota GOP Gov. Noem again denied request for July 4 Mount Rushmore fireworks

Request was denied over concerns by Native Americans and about wildfires

Updated: March 17, 2022 - 12:27pm

The National Park Service has again denied South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem request to hold a fireworks show at Mount Rushmore on July 4.

The federal agency cited opposition from Native American tribes and the possibility of starting wildfires as the reason for the rejection. A letter from the Interior Department, which oversees the park service, said a fireworks show would not be "safe and responsible."

Noem held the event in summer 2020, when Republican Donald Trump was president, but was denied a permit in 2021 amid the pandemic.

The governor said this week that she would take the issue to court, as she did with the 2021 matter.

She filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration after it refused to issue a permit for the event. Her argument was rejected in June by a federal judge.

"Many of the reasons presented for their denial have been previously addressed, indicating that these reasons are not in good faith," she said this week. "We will move forward with our litigation and urge the court to help us come to a speedy resolution." 

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