The National Park Service trying to get fireworks out to Mount Rushmore for the 4th of July

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The National Parks Service is taking the next steps in advancing the return of fireworks to Mount Rushmore.

The environmental assessment is looking at how to have a safe and responsible fireworks event. It would be the first display at Mount Rushmore in 11 years.

The goal is to have a fireworks show on July 3, while protecting the memorial itself, the environment and park visitors.

Maureen McGee-Ballinger, the Chief of Interpretation and Education for the National Park Service is making sure that the fireworks won’t cause serious issues like wildfire.

“We are certainly looking at wildfire and potential impact of wildfire,” Maureen McGee-Ballinger said. “We did have a major pine beetle episode here in the Black Hills and that has slowed down considerably, and we do have a fire management plan. That fire management plan is a long-term plan.” 

20 local Native American tribes have also voiced their opinion about how they feel the event would impact the land.

“One of the things we are really excited about is the tribes have said they want to do a cultural assessment,” McGee-Ballinger said. “We are very excited to have tribal members come into the ark and use their own people to do their own tribal assessment.”

Although this event was an opportunity to get information on the fireworks display, some community members said they’re disappointed that there was no opportunity to voice their opinions.

The National Park Service has a meeting on Wednesday afternoon at 4 P.M. in Keystone.


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