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President Trump announces he’ll attend July 3 fireworks at Mount Rushmore

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Trump announced that he has instructed his administration to halt funding to the World Health Organization. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Sipa USA/TNS)

President Donald Trump will be attending the July 3 fireworks display at Mount Rushmore, he announced Friday on a podcast.

The president was interviewed on “The Dan Bongino Show” podcast when he made the announcement. U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., also confirmed Trump’s plan Friday on Twitter.

The National Park Service announced Tuesday the return of the fireworks to Mount Rushmore National Memorial after an 11-year absence.

Following an environmental assessment conducted earlier this year, the agency issued a finding of “no significant impact,” which allows the fireworks celebration to be permitted.

The event will be held subject to weather, security and wildland fire conditions and in accordance with Trump’s Opening Up America Again guidelines.

At a Jan. 15 White House press conference, Trump mentioned the Mount Rushmore fireworks display and his desire to see it return.

“I called up our people and in 15 minutes got it approved and we will have the first fireworks display at Mount Rushmore, and I will try and get out there if I can,” Trump said on Jan. 15.

The president also brushed aside what he said were dubious environmental concerns that had previously prevented fireworks at the landmark.

“What can burn? It’s stone. Nobody knew why,” Trump said.

Gov. Kristi Noem announced in May 2019 that South Dakota and the U.S. Department of the Interior would be working together to return fireworks to the monument on July 3, 2020.

Fireworks shows have not been held since 2009, when a pine beetle infestation killed thousands of trees in the Black Hills National Forest, creating potential fire hazards.

A recent U.S. Geological Survey report also cited past fireworks displays at the monument as the probable cause for elevated concentrations of contaminants in groundwater near the monument.


©2020 Rapid City Journal, S.D.

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