Governor Kristi Noem Blasts Biden Admin For Denying Mount Rushmore Fireworks Permit
Fireworks explode above the Mount Rushmore National Monument during an Independence Day event attended by the US president in Keystone, South Dakota, July 3, 2020.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem blasted the Biden administration on Tuesday after her state received a letter denying its request for Mount Rushmore Independence Day fireworks for the second year in a row.

The denial letter from the National Park Service (NPS) was sent to the South Dakota Department of Tourism regarding its permit application for the state’s 2022 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration.

“Mount Rushmore is the best place in America to celebrate our nation’s birthday – I just wish President Biden could see that,” Noem said in a statement. “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.”

Noem added in the statement that she plans to move forward with legal actions to change the decision.

“NPS announced this denial less than 24 hours after we reminded the court that this year’s permit application was still pending,” Noem said. “Many of the reasons presented for their denial have been previously addressed, indicating that these reasons are not in good faith. We will move forward with our litigation and urge the court to help us come to a speedy resolution.”

The letter noted multiple reasons behind its rejection.

“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,” the letter stated.

“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,” it added.

The two main objections included concerns with wildfires and objections from Native American tribes. The Biden administration’s letter also noted that the fireworks would pose “threats to the environment and Memorial resources.”

The denial marked the second consecutive year the Biden administration has shut down the patriotic fireworks event.

The event was last held in 2020 with then-President Donald Trump attending.

When Trump attended the previous event, Democrats claimed, “Trump has disrespected Native communities time and time again.” A now-deleted Twitter post from June 2020 also suggested “he’s holding a rally glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore.”

“Noem’s office told Fox News that under the governor’s leadership, the fireworks celebration in 2020 was returned to Mount Rushmore after being canceled for more than a decade,” according to a Fox News report.

“The 2020 celebration incorporated NPS’ regular programming that was referenced in the letter,” Noem’s office said in the report.

Noem also took to Twitter to share her frustrations over the denial.

“Once again, President Biden has denied our request to celebrate our nation’s independence at Mount Rushmore. At a time when our nation is so divided, you’d think Biden would want to unite Americans. Instead, he plays politics,” she wrote.

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