(SD)-PETA Doesn't Want Fireworks At Mount Rushmore
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to reconsider her decision allow the resumption of 4th of July fireworks at Mount Rushmore next year.
The animal rights group said Friday that its president, Ingrid Newkirk, sent a letter to Noem suggesting she consider replacing the fireworks with a drone show. Newkirk said fireworks can scare animals and start wildfires, among other hazards, while drone shows are safer and don't cause pollution.
Noem spokesman Joshua Shields called PETA's suggestion "puzzling" and said forest animals might not react well to "hundreds of drones buzzing and blinking" around the monument at night.
There's also a strong possibility a drone show instead of fireworks might not be positively received by the public. A switch from fireworks to a laser show in 2002 because of high fire danger was roundly criticized by visitors.
The fireworks shows were discontinued in 2010 due to forest fire concerns caused by a pine beetle infestation, but Shields says the latest fireworks technology is safe while the pine beetle threat has broken.
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