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Look, Little Donnie! Fireworks on Mount Rushmore (and Litter, Firefighter Costs…)

Governor Kristi Noem went to the White House Monday to try to talk about family farms and the economy, and what does the Idiot-in-Chief bring up? Fireworks at Mount Rushmore:

Actually, Donald, we do know why we canceled Rushmore fireworks in 2010—because we didn’t want to burn down the forest. Former fire chief Bill Gabbert explained the risk and said fireworks actually subject the monument and the forest to costly risk:

I was the Fire Management Officer for Mount Rushmore and six other parks during the first four years that fireworks were used on Independence Day at the Memorial. I developed a plan that would require that the weather and fuel conditions be within certain parameters before the fireworks could be used. We continued to refine the plan each year, settling on Probably of Ignition as one of the primary factors on the go/no-go checklist, especially after the fireworks started about 10 fires one year. All of the fires were small and were suppressed by the 60-80 firefighters we had positioned in the forest around the sculpture. One year the fireworks were cancelled because of the fire danger.

In my humble opinion, igniting fireworks over and around Mount Rushmore is no way to treat the memorial, the sculpture, and the natural resources around the Memorial. The fireworks are disrespectful to the significance of the Memorial, they leave millions of pieces of debris that can never be picked up, they start fires, and tie up firefighting resources during a busy period of the fire season [Bill Gabbert, “Mount Rushmore July 4th Fireworks Canceled Due to Fire Danger,” Widlfire Today, 2010.01.14].

Naturally, Trump has no knowledge of the risk fireworks pose to the Black Hills. He just wants his big boom-booms. And Noem, Pence, and his other tools choose to sit smiling and nodding at the Toddler-in-Chief’s mindless and destructive prattle.


  1. Donald Pay 2019-12-18 08:24

    You summed it up in your last sentence. Smiling and nodding at the drooling toddler who yammers on nonsensically is what modern Republican Party “leaders” do best. The Nazis had to put up with Hitler and his mental illnesses, so I guess Noem, a good Nazi Party member, has to smile and nod at Trump. Sad.

  2. Loren 2019-12-18 09:05

    Empty head meets empty suit!

  3. jerry 2019-12-18 09:21

    Neither Crystal or Chubby could give a damn about the forest, they deserve one another, and are only in it for the money (cash money as well, what could go wrong).

    “Although I was aware of it, I got annoyed when I was forced to purchase a $10 “annual” parking permit (that was good for 6 months). The concessionaire took only cash which was also annoying (they did make change for a $20 bill, however). I wonder why they don’t sell $100 “century” parking permits (that are good for say 2 years).

    The park was crowded and reminded me of an overpriced Florida theme park without the good crowd control. Everything about the park just screamed, “Sleeze” to me.

    It is sort of like my Army experience: I did it once, but I am not going to do it again.”

    Trip Advisor

  4. Eve Fisher 2019-12-18 09:26

    We went to Rushmore for the 4th of July back in 2006 – and as the fireworks went off, we watched little fires start up all up and down the mountain. The fire crews were very, very busy all night long. And we were all very, very lucky that it didn’t spread.

  5. Mark 2019-12-18 09:32

    Remember those little dogs in the
    Back windows of cars that had a
    spring loaded bobble head?
    Kristi Bobblehead.

  6. jerry 2019-12-18 09:36

    Crystal should be concerned about the fireworks that will start when Chubby, EB5 Rounds and Fly Speck Johnny pull the plug on food for the poor, disabled and of course, veterans. There will be no democracy to celebrate, only despair.

    ” Earlier this month, the US Department of Agriculture finalized new restrictions on eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, which provided food assistance to 40 million people in 2018. Millions of low-income families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities access this vital benefit. Under the new rule, which goes into effect in April 2020, work requirements for the 700,000 SNAP users who are labeled as “able-bodied” adults without any dependents (ABAWD) will be tightened, potentially leaving them without access to the program and pushed deeper into poverty.

    But an unintended consequence of this measure is the damage that it will do to rural communities and the grocery stores they rely on.”

    Welcome to the Reich, Himmler would be proud.

  7. Buckobear 2019-12-18 10:08

    Isn’t it great. It was once said that any cxhild could grow up to be president. My how things have changed. Now, a child who will not grow up is preznit.

  8. mike from iowa 2019-12-18 10:42

    Fireworks at Mt Rushmore ill get turned into a drumpf whine fest and nothing about the historical record of Mt Rushmore.

    All about drumpf, all the time.

    In a similar vein, Maria Butt in a Sling is now featured on RT teevee as a propagandist.

  9. Donald Pay 2019-12-18 11:26

    Let me second Eve’s comments. I’m not sure why or when it started, but when I moved to Rapid City, there was no fireworks allowed at Mt. Rushmore. Good sense prevailed. I can tell you that blasting off fireworks in the Hills is not welcome by local residents at that time of year. Even in the few wet years when fire danger in the Hills is low, there is always some danger that fireworks will cause a fire.

  10. grudznick 2019-12-18 14:03

    You are all just knee-jerk naysayers. Usually libbies are all about wildfires and against fighting them at all. Read some of my good friend Lar’s earth hating rants lining along this topic.

    Damned un-American to be against fireworks is what grudznick thinks.

  11. mike from iowa 2019-12-18 14:24

    Rather be a Lib naysayer than a willfully blind and ignorant wingnut spouting untruths about libs and forest fires.

    Libs have always been at the forefront of environmental protection and tree plantings and conserving natural resources. Grudzilla’s side has always been for raping the land and stripping every single resource so the wealthy cn have more money.

  12. mike from iowa 2019-12-18 14:32

    More from Wildfire Today……

    In one of the first displays over a dozen fires started. They were all put out when they were small, but it was proven then to be an insane concept to shoot off literally tons of fireworks over a ponderosa pine forest in July.

    In 2016 the USGS discovered that the ground and surface water at Mount Rushmore is contaminated with percholrate, a component of rocket fuels and explosives. They determined that the chemical came from the fireworks over that 12-year period.

    Data from the USGS report showed that a maximum perchlorate concentration of 54 micrograms per liter was measured in a stream sample, which is about 270 times higher than that in samples collected from sites outside the memorial. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of perchlorates can affect the thyroid gland, which in turn can alter the function of many organs in the body. The fetus and young children can be especially susceptible.

  13. Porter Lansing 2019-12-18 15:11

    Fireworks as outdated as grudznick’s brain. Install lazers and patriotic holographic theatre in the sky.

  14. o 2019-12-18 16:42

    Just blast President Trump’s face in with the other four — that’s what they all really want: Make Mt. Rushmore great again!

  15. Loren 2019-12-18 16:53

    If we want fireworks in the middle of a forrest, perhaps we should rake / sweep the forrest floors like they do in Greenland, to prevent any forrest fires.

  16. Ed 2019-12-18 17:38

    Larry, Moe, and Curly made more sense than the three stooges in that picture.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-18 18:38

    So, Grudz, just to check: are you just out hunting goat again, or do you really believe it’s a good use of public resources to pull firefighters away from fighting wildfires in order to patrol completely preventable fires caused by a fireworks display?

  18. CT 2019-12-18 18:40

    Idiot-in-chief? I am sorry but that is a new low and I am sick of all the name calling and mud slinging that media participates in in today worlds. All of you should be ashamed of yourselves! It’s not very South Dakota!

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-18 18:40

    And don’t forget, trump shows us here how completely uninformed and inattentive he is by improving the line that nobody knows why the fireworks were stopped when in fact the fireworks were stopped for a very obvious and well documented reason. Any responsible policymaker would know that there was a reason and would not say otherwise.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-18 18:45

    It’s not a new low, CT. I’ve called Donald Trump an idiot before. I’ve told my daughter he’s an idiot. I will continue to speak that simple fact, which is supported by his idiotic statement above. A governor comes to the White House to talk about agriculture and the economy, and Trump starts spouting off about fireworks and says patently false things about the issue. Only an idiot talks that way. You should be much more distressed and having such an idiot in charge of the most powerful country in the world than about having a South Dakotan like me tell you the truth about that idiot.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-18 18:56

    But, CT, same question to you as to Grudz: do you think pulling firefighters off wildfire duty to patrol for completely preventable fires at a big fireworks display at a national monument is a good use of public resources? And, while I’m thinking of it, do you think talking about fireworks at Mount Rushmore is more important than talking about how to help farmers rebuild after the destruction of the Trump trade war? If you were in the top policymaking position in the country, and another important elected official was talking about the state of the economy and agriculture, would you change the subject to something as trivial as fireworks?

    Oh, wait, I guess if you had caused all the harm to the economy and agriculture, you probably would change the subject! Gee, maybe Trump isn’t such an idiot when it comes to changing the subject from difficult issues that reflect poorly on him. Was that the point you were making, CT?

  22. grudznick 2019-12-18 20:20

    Mr. H, firefighters are out fighting fires when there are fires. When there are not fires, they do other duties. If those duties involve standing around a possible ignition source and watching a Grand American Firework Display, then it is probably a welcome duty for them. The public is paying them regardless, they may as well be watching the Fireworks. If there are other real fires, then they’d be working on other real fires. If the local Mt. Rushmore Fire Department, a stout force who prides themselves on being able to manage a very small piece of public land, needs help, then they’ll call out the forces on the radio channel used to call out the forces. Have you not seen the bloat in the federal agencies like Mt. Rushmore?

    Make the fireworks bigger than ever, says grudznick. I put more stock in the worries about the heavy metals floating to earth and into the creeks than I do the libbie knee-jerk negativity about anything Governor Noem or Mr. Trump might be “for”, then you must be “against.”

    I might go out and shoot off a bunch myself this summer, right under the nose of George.

  23. Porter Lansing 2019-12-18 20:37

    Good idea, grudzie. Wait until there’s a no burn notice in effect. You’ll enjoy federal prison. There’s a big one here in my Littletown.

  24. Debbo 2019-12-18 21:00

    I haven’t listened to America’s Canker Sore talk for quite some time, so I forgot just how crazy he is. Disjointed conversation, rambling, wandering from topic to irrelevant topic.

    Prissy Pussy Pency with that tight squeezed and prim face. Klueless Kristi, perfectly imitating a bobblehead.

    That’s all happening in the White House of the USA!

  25. grudznick 2019-12-18 21:44

    Mr. Lansing, you are an Out-of-State Name-Caller, so you don’t understand. Here, in South Dakota, when grudznick goes to federal prison it’s for “white collar” crimes and he lounges in Yankton, where my old friend Bill went to college.

  26. Porter Lansing 2019-12-18 21:59

    Tom Waits said so.

  27. grudznick 2019-12-18 22:06

    Leonard Cohen, wearing Bob’s hat disheveled with the hair of Lansing goats, said not.

  28. jerry 2019-12-18 22:09

    Canker sore!! Words of the day. Tom Waits, way cool there Porter. One of the most underrated song writers and singers of our day. He’s a little gravely, but ain’t we all when were “Looking For the Heart of Saturday Night”

  29. Debbo 2019-12-18 23:24

    Tom Waits could write a lyric.

  30. Debbo 2019-12-19 00:19

    Tulsi Gabbard voted “Present,” on the impeachment question. She said she believes Canker Sore is guilty but thinks it’s partisan.

    Buh-bye Tulsi. Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on your way to a job at Faux Noize shilling for Pootie with the rest of them.

  31. Buckobear 2019-12-19 05:27

    About :33, the idiot sez that the governor called and asked for a “favor.”
    Wonder what no m had to do in return??

  32. JW 2019-12-19 08:10

    Nobody has mentioned the National Park Service policy and code of federal regulations on Noise Pollution and other CFR regulations that apply to protecting park assets that are ignored and or politically compromised. There are several.

  33. jerry 2019-12-19 12:39

    Putin still loves him some Chubby. I wonder when he will come to Mt. Rushmore and ask for his melon to be carved by Crystal and those who worship him. Putin sticks by Chubby:

    “The party that lost the [2016] election is continuing the fight by other means.

    “[The impeachment bill] still needs to go through the Senate where Republicans, as far as I know, have a majority. It’s unlikely they will want to remove from power a representative of their party based on what are, in my opinion, completely fabricated reasons.

    “The Democrats accused Trump of a plot with Russia, and then it emerged that there was no kind of plot. It could not be the basis of impeachment.

    “Then they thought up some kind of pressure on Ukraine.” Vlad Putin 12/18/19

    Nice, wonder when the Rocket Man will weigh in on his support for the republican nightmare

  34. Debbo 2019-12-19 15:16

    While America’s Canker Sore is babbling about starting fires in the Black Hills National Forest, his economy stinks.

    “Almost half of all American workers are stuck in low-wage jobs that often don’t pay enough to support their lives, lack benefits and sit squarely inside the automation bullseye.”
    Axios AM by Mike Allen

    Almost half- HALF -of the jobs are next to worthless! They not only don’t pay, they’re going away. That’s not a decent economy for all Americans, but the Russian GOP and America’s Canker Sore don’t care because they take their 90% off the top.

  35. Marnie Cook 2019-12-19 15:18

    Try to tell the Citizens For Liberty/ Tea Party members on the Rapid City City Council that the fireworks were also cancelled in RC because MHill and Skyline Drive were catching fire. In fact, just a month ago or so, when the Council was looking to again make the changes to move the display from winter back to the summer, Alderwoman Laura Edwards one of the newest members was asking questions about it. To which Alderman John Roberts attempted to shame her, calling her unpatriotic, and then laughed. Said he was just joking, because he’s such a funny guy, isn’t he. Yuk yuk. In fact, he continued to laugh, because his “joke” was soooo funny – to him. Edwards seemed surprised and slightly defensive but didn’t call him out. If memory serves me right, Roberts was against moving the city fireworks display to a less combustible season. Roberts, small government guy, who railed against long-serving council members BECAUSE they kept their seats as long as they could. Just like Roberts is now. How many years has he been on the Council? Roberts, a Christian, who wanted to get rid of the Vision Fund program, because he didn’t see its value – until he himself experienced a tragedy and received assistance from one of the programs funded with Vision Funds. I suspect his portfolio has been greatly expanded BECAUSE of his service in government, the very government he hates. This fireworks discussion is really again about climate change, which continues to nickle amd dime us. And Republicans, like Noem, Roberts and Trump, aren’t concerned with how much it is costing you now or how much it will cost you in the future. You and I will be paying when the Keystone leaks. And of course, we already are. Noem, who just 2 months ago, referencing the last year of storm on top of storm , said during a meeting with governors of IA and Neb, actually said that she thought the weather would settle down, “but it didn’t”. Well, science HAS told us this was coming. She is not preparing us for the future. But one thing is sure, she has harnessed the entire governmental apparatus, remember, the government she has spent decades excoriating, to benefit her family. Does she support a raise for you? No. But she does for her daughter. So much for moral high ground.

  36. Debbo 2019-12-19 18:42


    Christianity Today, perhaps the nation’s leading evangelical magazine and founded by Billy Graham, today said evangelicals must stop supporting America’s Canker Sore, that he should be either convicted or voted out in November.

    Whoa! I did not see that coming.

    “That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.

    “To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?”

    Whoa! 😯😯😯

  37. Porter Lansing 2019-12-19 18:50

    GO AMY! GO ELIZABETH! Obama says, “It’s indisputable. Women make better leaders.” I agree, from experience.

  38. bearcreekbat 2019-12-20 01:29

    You know Debbo, the abortion excuse for supporting Trump may have been valid when he was running for President since Clinton as the alternative was clearly pro-choice, but now that excuse is in fact a mere fiction. Evangelicals no longer need Trump for abortion or any other religious cause.

    If Trump is removed from office Pence will be more than an effective substitute on every single religious cause and more. Any so-called or self-proclaimed evangelicals that claim to be supporting Trump these days because of their opposition to abortion is lying to you or themselves or both. On these issues Trump’s usefulness has long passed its expiration date.

  39. Debbo 2019-12-20 12:16

    I’ll take the aspersions Mike, as well as your apology.

    The story from Christianity Today is all over FB. Slob-faced Sinner knows he’s in big, huge, enormous trouble if he loses the evangelicals. He’s toast if that happens. What kind of “deals” is he going to try to make with the charlatans? No doubt Jeffress, Franklin Jr, Paula White and others will be desperate to hang on to their $ and power train. Will the evangelical monolith further splinter? I pray it will be so.

  40. Porter Lansing 2019-12-20 12:26

    I knew the evangelicals would come back to Jesus. At least the rank and file born agains. I see little hope for the leaders, who worship money.

  41. Debbo 2019-12-20 13:56

    Faux Noize is attacking Christianity Today. No surprise. Bloviating Bully makes them lots of $$$$.

    Nothing Jesus ever said was more true than “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

    BB enablers surrender all to their love of money. ALL. Friends. Family. Loved ones. Reputation. Self-respect.

    Every. Damn. Thing.

    Love of money turns weak people into Gollems, just that ugly.

  42. Eve Fisher 2019-12-20 14:47

    Yes, Debbo, so is Breitbart, RedState and National Review (I made the mistake of looking to see how they’d cover it – whew! The comments are ferocious). Also, apparently there’s some new conspiracy theory called “catholic spring” in which lefties are infiltrating the churches and rotting from within, hence the CT op-ed. Because Galli could never, ever be actually telling the truth.

  43. Debbo 2019-12-20 15:03

    Eve, as I’ve said so many times in the past couple of years, I wish I was surprised. CT expected this and I’m sure there will be some splintering off in the evangelical base.

    Mike Allen reported on CT’s editorial in Axios AM. It’s here:

  44. Debbo 2019-12-20 15:08

    Mike Allen of Axios AM thinks Kim Jong Un may launch a few missiles on Xmas Day. That will be bad new for Nervous Negotiator. Kim’s back to calling him “Dotard” and a Xmas launch would make clear what a failure Dotard’s Deal is. Like everything else he does. He’s the biggest LOSER.

  45. Eve Fisher 2019-12-20 15:44

    I hope that Un backs off – he has in the past. The dangers for everyone…

  46. JW 2019-12-20 17:46

    Grudz of course is wrong………… Most of those fire fighters are from volunteer fire departments that are paid under federal cost share. If they had no fire supression duty, it wouldn’t cost the tax payer a bundle to stand around and watch nationalist pundits start forest fires.

  47. Debbo 2019-12-20 21:46

    It’s not looking good for Donny jr.

    “Spanish police have turned over to the FBI wiretaps of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, a prominent Russian banker suspected of money laundering who met with President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., during the 2016 US presidential election.
    Torshin is closely associated with the National Rifle Association, and he and his longtime assistant attempted to use the organization’s annual convention in 2016 to set up a backdoor meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    Neither Trump nor his campaign associates attended the convention, but Torshin and Trump Jr. did attend a separate NRA dinner that same night.
    When José Grinda, a Spanish prosecutor who spearheads investigations into organized crime, was asked if he was concerned about Torshin’s interactions with Trump Jr. or other American political figures, Grinda replied: ‘Mr. Trump’s son should be concerned.'”


  48. Donald Pay 2019-12-21 09:57

    Marnie Cook has some interesting updates about the local Rapid City discussion on this. I’d just say blasting off fireworks in the summer in the Black Hills makes as much sense as setting them off next to a gas pump. But, Grudz is right. The forest needs a good fire.

  49. leslie 2019-12-26 15:14

    Welcome to the blog Marnie!

  50. leslie 2019-12-26 15:17

    I understand the RC common council now has 4 Dems of ten on board! Slowly but surely….

  51. Debbo 2019-12-29 23:01

    Mike, I followed your link and read the article.

    It’s stupid to go ahead with the fireworks. Whichever govt official said the world looks to Sydney for their great fireworks display ought to know that the world used to think Sydney was not stupid and eager to exacerbate the burning up of their state. Must be Aussie’s version of GOP.

  52. jerry 2020-01-07 18:18

    Chubby got’s his bombardment in Iraq. American bases are being rocketed now.

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