South Dakota Guv Offers State Resources To Keep Mount Rushmore Open During Shutdown

|
October 1, 2013 9:06 a.m.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) sent a letter Monday to the director of the National Parks Service offering to use state resources and personnel to keep Mount Rushmore open during the government shutdown.

“If the federal government is unable to keep Mount Rushmore open, the State of South Dakota will provide state personnel and resources to keep the Memorial open,” Daugaard wrote. “I am confident state government could work with the federal government and private vendors to securely and competently manage Mount Rushmore during a federal shutdown.”

He added in closing, “Mount Rushmore is a national treasure and is a special location for South Dakotans and citizens across the country.”

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

As the Argus Leader’s David Montgomery noted, it wasn’t the first time Daugaard extended such an offer to the federal government. With the threat of a shutdown looming back in 2011, Daugaard pledged state resources to keep Mount Rushmore open but was turned down by the National Parks Service. 

Daugaard was probably wise to not act unilaterally though. When the government shut down in 1995, then-Arizona Gov. Fife Symington (R) deployed National Guard troops to fill in at the Grand Canyon for furloughed National Park Service workers before the Department of Interior ordered him to stop.

Mount Rushmore draws more than three million visitors annually, making it South Dakota’s top tourist attraction. The monument closed its doors to visitors Tuesday morning, the result of the first federal government shutdown since 1996.

Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: