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Five Lies Noem Tells in Two Sentences About Rushmore Fireworks Rejection

Governor Kristi Noem keeps lying on the job. In her weekly propaganda piece, pushed out to the world on our taxpayer-funded South Dakota State News website, Governor Noem tells multiple lies about her failed lawsuit and National Park Service’s rejection of her request to explode fireworks over a dry forest:

Unfortunately, the Biden Administration does not share South Dakota’s desire to celebrate America’s birthday at our Shrine of Democracy. They arbitrarily and unlawfully denied our permit to hold the event this year, violating a memorandum of agreement that the State of South Dakota had with the Department of Interior [Gov. Kristi Noem, weekly propaganda, 2021.06.04].

  1. President Joe Biden has as much desire to celebrate America’s birthday as you, I, and any other patriot. He’s been urging us all to get our shots specifically so we can celebrate that momentous holiday together with our friends and neighbors, safely, at Mount Rushmore and in every other corner of this country.
  2. President Biden has not blocked anyone from celebrating the Fourth of July at Mount Rushmore. Not having fireworks will allow more people to celebrate Independence Day at Mount Rushmore.
  3. The National Park Service’s denial of the fireworks request was not arbitrary. Judge Roberto Lange said every one of the five reasons NPS gave for denying the request was reasonable and grounded in evidence and standing policy.
  4. The denial broke no laws. Judge Roberto Lange said the National Park Service is working entirely within its Constitutional and statutory authority. “Unlawful” would have been Judge Lange siding with Noem and using judicial activism to supplant the Congressionally authorized power of the federal Executive Branch with his or Kristi’s own arbitrary preferences.
  5. The National Park Service violated no agreement. There was no agreement to hold fireworks at Mount Rushmore in 2021. As Judge Roberto Lange pointed out at the top of his ruling, the Special Use Permit NPS issued for the unusual 2020 Rushmore fireworks show said, “Issuance of this permit is for the current year 2020 and does not mean an automatic renewal of the event in the future.” All the out-of-state $600-an-hour lawyers in Kristi’s world can’t rewrite that plain fact.

I haven’t personally lit a firecracker or purchased roadside ordnance to celebrate the Fourth of July in this century. Yet the Fourth of July remains my favorite, most meaningful, most contemplative holiday. I enjoy fireworks, but I don’t need to blow stuff up or go watch someone else blow stuff up in a combustible forest to revel in the liberty my taxes and patriotism make possible and to ponder the errors my country has made and the reforms my country must make.

The agencies we legally empower to steward our public lands are saying the rational, lawful, and non-radical thing: enjoy the Fourth, but let’s not burn down the forest. Noem’s contrary blurtings are the empty lies of a woman thinking of herself and not her country.


  1. Donald Pay 2021-06-05 09:02

    You missed an obvious lie. “South Dakota’s desire” seems to be not to have fireworks in a Ponderosa Pine forest, contrary to Noem’s statement I don’t see much citizen support for fireworks at Rushmore in the Rapid City paper or on Facebook. Was there a vote of the people or some polling she can point to, or is she consulting with the mouse in her pocket? When South Dakotans actually express their desires in an vote on an initiative, Noem and her cult simply ignore it.

    In my time in South Dakota’s Black Hills region, it was pretty clear that the overwhelming sentiment of fire districts, local governments and residents was on the side of restricting fireworks in the Black Hills area and not having fireworks at Rushmore. I don’t ever recall an instance when any Governor tried to overrule the overwhelming support of the locals to restrict fireworks in the Hills.

  2. Eve Fisher 2021-06-05 12:40

    Of course, Kristi is virtue signaling to what she thinks is her base – i.e., Trump et al – and has no interest in “South Dakota’s desire. South Dakota’s desire is no fireworks, medical marijuana and legal marijuana July 1st, thank you, and ethics commission for the SD Legislature. So far 0 from her for any of that.

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-06-05 16:42

    I thought you might cover another lying loser episode from kristi. Come on, she’s way behind DeSantis as it is, burning a forest could help her in the long run. He’s still got his messing with the private business of the cruise lines to deal with. A state governor claiming he’s entitled to force the Norwegians to do his bidding is as fun as it gets. It seems kristi believes its her forest by right, she did go to SDSU you know. Cowbells to the White House might be the theme for her. She really has to start attacking Fauci, she’s way behind Josh on that one. She’s just a step behind all of them, could it be she’s too thoughtful?

  4. Arlo Blundt 2021-06-05 16:53

    Well…thoughtful??? No Mark, I believe she is just incredibly silly and shallow. In the Republican scramble to succeed Trump, she is taking the absurdist position, where she believes most of the Trump support resides.Its approximately 20% of all voters by my reckoning and, depending on turnout, may be half of the Republican voters in the primaries.Courting the votes of the absurd, doesn’t require much homework or eloquence. Repeating a nonsense chant and a good visual will do.

  5. LCJ 2021-06-05 17:46

    Mike ” Not From South Dakota, “what does “moar’ mean? What’s fine university taught you how to write?
    So ,the question remains , Have you HAD to butcher an animal because you had to eat?
    Why is it when libs are called out for incorrect statements you can use the “tongue in cheek defense” ?That old card seems very tired!

  6. Porter Lansing 2021-06-05 18:34

    Governor Noem

    It’s the name Roberto, isn’t it?

    Say it with me, Kristi …

    Judge “ROBERTO” Lange

  7. mike from iowa 2021-06-05 19:37

    Hijacking a second thread is not kewl, But, like Grudzilla, you are from Northern Mississippi and not worth the trouble to re-educate.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-06 06:29

    Indeed, Donald and Eve, where is the grassroots South Dakota desire fo fireworks at Mount Rushmore… and where is te grassroots South Dakota desire to spend $600 an hour on out-of-state lawyers to make a federal case out of it? Most of us can’t shoot fireworks from our back yards in town, but we aren’t taking our city councils to court. Likewise with Game Fish & Parks’ restrictions on fireworks in the public parks it manages: we don’t take GF&P to court; we just take our fireworks to the cabin at the lake.

    My family and I tried to attend Rushmore fireworks once back in the Aughts. We drove up from Custer in the evening and found no way to get to the monument. We ended up standing around on a balcony in Keystone seeing an occasional pyrotechnic blossom just over the building or the treeline or whatever was blocking most everyone’s view.

    Most South Dakotans don’t celebrate the Fourth at Mount Rushmore. Most South Dakotans can’t get a HIghway Patrol escort and a reserved seat at the amphitheater. Most South Dakotans prefer to go to their community fireworks show, where parking may be a hassle but where there’s always a good view available and where we generally don’t have to worry about setting a National Forest on fire.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-06 06:46

    SDCL 34-37-11 generally prohibits the use of fireworks in the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District (roughly bounded by I-90, Hwy 79, and the Cheyenne River) or any national forest, national park, state forest, or land controlled by Game Fish and Parks:

    34-37-11. Sale or use prohibited in forests, parks and other specified areas–Exception–Violation as misdemeanor.

    No person may sell or cause to be sold, use, or cause to be used, any pyrotechnics of any description or any consumer fireworks within the exterior boundaries of the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District.
    No person may use or cause to be used, any pyrotechnics or consumer fireworks within a zone that extends three hundred feet beyond the exterior boundaries of the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District in this state.

    No person may sell or cause to be sold, use or cause to be used, any pyrotechnics of any description or any consumer fireworks within any national forest, national park, state forest, or any land owned or leased by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks without written authorization by the department permitting the use of pyrotechnics or consumer fireworks, pyrotechnic displays, sales, or exhibits on land owned or leased by the department, unless the department is otherwise prohibited by law from providing the written authorization.

    A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    I haven’t heard of a grassroots push to repeal that law. Maybe Governor Noem should take out an initiative petition.

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