Federal judge declines to order fireworks at Mount Rushmore

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge has rebuffed South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s efforts to force the National Park Service to grant the state permission to shoot fireworks from Mount Rushmore National Memorial to celebrate Independence Day this year. Noem sued the U.S. Department of Interior in an effort to reverse the decision to deny the state’s permit for the pyrotechnic display. The Republican governor successfully pushed last year for a return of the event after a decadelong hiatus. But the National Park Service denied it this year, citing safety concerns and objections from local Native American tribes.

Governor Noem released the following statement after the ruling.

“The Biden Administration cancelled South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration on completely arbitrary grounds.  I am disappointed that the court gave cover to this unlawful action with today’s decision. But rest assured, this fight is not over. My legal team will appeal this incorrect decision so that we can return the Fireworks Celebration to Mount Rushmore and celebrate our nation’s birthday at America’s Shrine to Democracy for next year and in the future.”