Rushmore fireworks info session March 10

The National Park Service (NPS) announced next steps in advancing the return of fireworks to Mount Rushmore National Memorial after an 11-year absence. The draft environmental assessment (EA) available for review explores the return of fireworks in a way that protects the memorial, the environment and park visitors. Public comments for the proposed fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore are being accepted on the NPS project website from Feb. 28 through March 30.
“I share in President Trump and secretary Bernhardt’s commitment to bringing back fireworks to this iconic American landmark,” said assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Rob Wallace. “We’re excited to continue working with the community and its leaders as we plan this celebration of our nation’s birth.”
A public information session regarding the proposal will be held March 10 at the Pine Room of the Custer County Courthouse Annex from 6–8 p.m.
Under the proposed action described in the EA, the NPS would permit the state’s Independence Day celebration, including a fireworks display and other entertainment. Similar events could be permitted in future years if conditions remain the same and impacts are as described in the document. 
On May 6  Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to work to explore returning fireworks to Mount Rushmore National 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 Mount Rushmore National Memorial in a safe and responsible manner. 
“This is an important step in exploring the return of fireworks to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in a way that protects the memorial, the environment and park visitors,” said deputy director exercising the authority of the director, David Vela. “Public engagement will play a key role in the planning process for the National Park Service.”
The preferred manner for providing comments is via an online form through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website, used by the agency to manage official correspondence and analyze public comment in the planning process. From the project website (, navigate the menu on the left-hand side of the page to “Open for Comment,” then open the “DO” folder. The green “Comment Now” button will take you to the online form.
Comments may also be submitted in writing to: Superintendent, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 13000 Highway 244, Building 31, Suite 1, Keystone, SD  57751, ATTN: Fireworks/EA
Comments must be entered into the website or postmarked by March 30 to receive consideration. 
Please be aware that the entire comment submitted – including personal identifying information such as address, phone number and email address – may be made publicly available.  Requests to withhold such personal identifying information from public release will be considered, but there is no guarantee that they will be withheld.

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