Democrat President Joe Biden has blocked South Dakota’s Governor Kirsti Noem (R) from holding the annual July 4 firework display at Mount Rushmore for the second year in a row.
The Biden administration previously blocked the permit for the display over claims it would draw crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a March 14 letter, the National Park Service told the South Dakota Department of Tourism that a request for a permit to put on the fireworks display was denied “after careful consideration.”
The letter said: “After careful consideration, the NPS has determined that we are unable to grant your request for this permit to hold a special event with fireworks at the Memorial.
“Based on the information provided in the application, we have determined that multiple such criteria are present for the requested event, each of which would be independently sufficient to deny the request for a permit.”
The admin said Native American tribes were the main reason behind the stunning decision.
The letter claimed the “fireworks are viewed by multiple Tribes as an adverse effect to the traditional cultural landscape”
The letter also said there was “ample opposition from the Tribes” the last time the fireworks display was allowed, which happened under Trump in 2020.
The Biden admin also said a fireworks event “poses threats to the environment and Memorial resources.”
They also blamed a drought for not letting Noem put on the fireworks show.
The NPS said “current drought conditions and the 2022 wildfire outlook” make hosting a fireworks show a nonstarter because it “would cause a high likelihood of a wildfire ignition.”
In a statement responding to the block, Gov. Noem accused Biden of hypocrisy, saying:
“Mount Rushmore is the best place in America to celebrate our nation’s birthday – I just wish President Biden could see that.
“Last year, the President hypocritically held a fireworks celebration in Washington, D.C., while denying us our own event.
“This year, it looks like they are planning to do the same.
“Many of the reasons presented for their denial have been previously addressed, indicating that these reasons are not in good faith,” Noem said.
Mount Rushmore is the best place in America to celebrate our nation’s birthday — I just wish @JoeBiden could see that. His admin denied our permit application. We will move forward with our litigation and urge the court to help find a speedy resolution.https://t.co/bEDbHlSJDO pic.twitter.com/L9vMluI7VO
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 15, 2022
From Fox News:
Following NPS’ 2021 denial, Noem sued the Biden administration, after she had asked the president to uphold a 2019 memorandum agreement between the National Park Service and the state, which allowed the return of the fireworks event for 2020.
Noem said that NPS announced the denial “less than 24 hours after we reminded the court that this year’s permit application was still pending.”
Noem is currently in litigation with NPS over the rejection of the 2021 celebration and for future annual celebrations. The lawsuit, Noem v. Haaland, is pending in U.S. District Court for the Eighth Circuit.