CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined a coalition of 17 states in support of Independence Day fireworks at Mount Rushmore, arguing the federal government provided insufficient reasoning in canceling this year’s display.
“Our nation has a long history of celebrating its independence – a tradition that we want to see continue for years to come,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom and the values that unite us as Americans. There are perhaps very few locations that embody this great sense of patriotism more than Mount Rushmore.”
Fireworks displays were permitted to occur at Mount Rushmore from 1998 through 2009, with the exception of a cancellation due to wildfires in 2002. Wildfire risks from 2010 onward further delayed the event’s return.
The Mount Rushmore fireworks event successfully returned in 2020, despite a higher COVID-19 infection rate and no vaccines available at the time. The brief argues not a single case of COVID-19 was traced back to the event.
In March 2021, the permit for this year’s fireworks display was abruptly denied with minimal explanation for the decision.
The coalition contends that federal officials cited vague concerns about COVID-19, tourism, opposition from tribal leaders and the environment; however, it argues the reasoning was not based in fact.
Instead, the coalition described the federal government’s rational as flimsy and unsupported.
West Virginia joined the Kansas-led brief with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
Read a copy of the coalition’s complaint at https://bit.ly/3fFIrSD.