As the National Park Service accepts public comments on whether to reinstate fireworks shows over Mount Rushmore, PETA is urging South Dakotans to oppose the idea.
Former Fire Management Officer for Mount Rushmore Bill Gabbert gave three good reasons why this proposal is a bad idea in an article posted on Wildfire Today. During the 11 years that fireworks were used previously, they caused at least 20 known wildfires around the monument. The park’s surface and groundwater are now contaminated with perchlorate, a carcinogen found in explosives. And the area is littered with unexploded shells, tiny pieces of plastic and other debris.
And there’s a fourth reason to say no to this plan: Fireworks kill animals. The loud explosions are terrifying for wildlife and companion animals alike. Dogs and cats panic and flee, causing shelters to see an influx of lost animals. Deer run into roadways as they try to escape the blasts. And fireworks were blamed for the deaths of 5,000 birds in Arkansas after red-winged blackbirds and European starlings fled their nests in fear. The night-blind birds crashed into houses, signs and other obstacles, causing blunt-force trauma and death.
Laser light shows offer all of the beauty with none of the danger. Residents have until March 30 to submit comments via the link on the National Park Service website.