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SD Governor to Sue Feds Over Rushmore Fireworks

National Parks Service rejected Rushmore request
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2021 8:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Last year, then-President Trump was the guest of honor at the first Independence Day fireworks display at Mount Rushmore since 2009. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem wants the display to happen again this year—and she's planning to sue the Biden administration to get it. The Republican governor told a Rotary Club meeting Thursday that she's "going to file a lawsuit against the administration to get the fireworks back," the Argus Leader reports. The National Parks Service rejected requests to issue permits for the event this year, citing the risk of wildfire, opposition from tribal groups, and COVID-19 precautions.

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In a letter to Biden earlier this month, Noem accused the National Parks Service of "reneging" on its 2020 Memorandum of Agreement to allow fireworks to return to Rushmore, KELOLAND reports. She told the president that Rushmore would be the "perfect place for a national celebration and fireworks show" as "we mark our independence from this virus." Last month, Rushmore was closed and hundreds of people in the area were evacuated because of wildfires. (Noem promised last year that she wouldn't allow Rushmore to be blown up.)

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