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Gov Noem Sues Biden for Canceling Mount Rushmore Independence Day Fireworks

Governor outraged as National Parks Service notified South Dakota of decision

 on 1st May 2021 @ 12.00am
south dakota gov  kristi noem is suing the biden administration for canceling the fireworks © press
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is suing the Biden administration for canceling the fireworks

The Republican governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, is suing Joe Biden's administration for canceling the state's fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day.

Gov. Noem filed the lawsuit on Friday after the Biden admin canceled the fireworks celebration without consulting the governor's office.

The suit demands the court "expeditiously" issues a permit for the event to take place as originally planned.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota Central Division.

"Mount Rushmore is the very best place to celebrate America’s birthday and all that makes our country special," Noem writes.

"After telling us they’d ‘circle back,’ the Biden Administration has not responded to our request to uphold the Memorandum Agreement between the State of South Dakota and the National Parks Service to host a safe and responsible national celebration and fireworks show."

gov  noem is suing the biden admin over the move to cancel the fireworks © press
Gov. Noem is suing the Biden admin over the move to cancel the fireworks

Noem said the Biden administration has "departed from longstanding precedent and reneged on this agreement without any meaningful explanation."

"We are asking the court to enjoin the Department of Interior’s (DOI) denial of the fireworks permit and order it to issue a permit for the event expeditiously," she added.

Noem had asked Biden to uphold a 2019 memorandum agreement between the National Parks Service and the state, which allowed the return of the fireworks event for 2020.

Last year, South Dakota hosted the fireworks display for the first time since 2009, after having been canceled due to wildfire risks.

The event included an appearance from former President Donald Trump, provoking criticism that the state disregarded guidance on social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Noem, though, has argued that contact tracing was unable to track a single case of COVID-19 back to the event.

South Dakota was the only state in the nation never to impose a coronavirus mask mandate or to shut businesses.  

The National Parks Service (NPS) notified South Dakota of its decision to ban the fireworks display last month, citing concerns about COVID-19, tribal objections, and alleged danger to the park itself.

last year  south dakota hosted the fireworks display for the first time since 2009 © press
Last year, South Dakota hosted the fireworks display for the first time since 2009

NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost wrote to South Dakota’s tourism office in March citing "potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration," saying that they "continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event."

Frost added, "In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial."

[RELATED] South Dakota Legislation Seeks to Block Biden's 'Unconstitutional' Executive Orders

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