The National Park Service (NPS) is currently seeking comments regarding a proposal by the State of South Dakota to host a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 3, 2020. In 2019, the Secretary of the Interior signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to work to reinstate a fireworks event at the Memorial during Independence Day celebrations. The MOA states that “the State of South Dakota and the Department of the Interior have committed to an agreement to exercise their full authorities under State and Federal law to work to return fireworks to the Memorial in a safe and responsible manner on July 3, July 4, or July 5, beginning in the year 2020.”
Many issues must first be evaluated pursuant to draft environmental assessment (EA) issued under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), as well as issues raised by the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and Endangered Species Act (ESA). NPS and South Dakota are working together to evaluate the various operational, logistical, resource management and mitigation measures that would need to be put in place.
The EA is available for public comment through March 30, 2020.