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South Dakota governor, USNPS battling over cancellation of fireworks at Mount Rushmore NMem

PIERRE, S.D. — Attorneys for Gov. Kristi Noem say "time is of the essence" in a weekend filing in the Republican administration's legal Hail Mary to bring back the fireworks at Mount Rushmore National Memorial this coming Independence Day.

Citing the "valuable free advertising" the state's tourism industry would receive from another pyrotechnic show at the Black Hills carved mountain -- such as the 2020 show that brought 7,000 people and then-President Donald Trump in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic -- attorneys for the governor's office blamed the National Park Service, who oversees the national memorial, for dragging their feet on a permit. They said the federal agency "sat on its hands" from the state's October request until an "offhanded rejection" was finally dispatched to state officials in early March.

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