The National Park Service (NPS) is evaluating a proposal by the State of South Dakota to host a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 3, 2020. This evaluation includes tribal consultation, as well as compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and Endangered Species Act (ESA). The NPS and State are working together to evaluate various operational, logistical, resource management and mitigation measures.
This environmental assessment (EA) evaluates the potential impacts of the proposed Independence Day event with fireworks at the Memorial. Under the proposed action, the NPS would permit the State’s Independence Day celebration, including a fireworks display and other entertainment, on the evening of July 3, 2020. Similar events could be permitted in future years if conditions remain the same and impacts are as described in the document. The EA is available for public comment through March 30, 2020. Read more and comment at the NPS Project Site.
On May 6, 2019, the Secretary of the Interior signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to work to reinstate a fireworks event at the 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 the Memorial in a safe and responsible manner on July 3, July 4, or July 5, beginning in the year 2020.”