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Contact: Earl Perez-Foust, 605-574-3115
This news release was updated to reflect that the public comment period will run through June 20, 2023. A prior version of the news release incorrectly indicated that the comment period would close on June 16.
KEYSTONE, SD — The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are seeking public feedback on a draft Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) and associated environmental assessment that are being proposed for Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
The agencies encourage anyone with an interest in or concern about air tours over Mount Rushmore National Memorial to review and comment on the draft ATMP and environmental assessment. The proposed plan would not authorize any air tours above or within 0.5 mile of the boundary of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. There were on average 3,914 air tours per year over Mount Rushmore National Memorial reported from 2017 – 2019.
Public feedback can be submitted through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website starting May 16, 2023 through June 20, 2023. The NPS and FAA will consider comments to help inform the final ATMP for Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The project website is available at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/MountRushmoreATMP.
“We encourage anyone who is interested in air tours over Mount Rushmore National Memorial to share their thoughts on the proposed plan,” said Michelle Wheatley, the park’s Superintendent. “The draft plan is based on extensive analysis and consultation with Tribes and other parties, as well as response to public comments from our September 2022 Scoping Newsletter. The purpose of the ATMP is to ensure that park resource values, including natural sounds, visitor experiences, wildlife, and other natural and cultural resources, are protected.”
The NPS is developing an air tour management plan for Mount Rushmore National Memorial in cooperation with the FAA. The agencies are working towards completing the air tour management plan for Mount Rushmore National Memorial by December 31, 2023. The schedule is part of a plan approved by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the agencies to comply with the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000.
An important part of the process is the inclusion of American Indian Tribes. The agencies are consulting with Associated Tribal Nations that hold historic and cultural significance to land and resources within the park.
Please visit this NPS site and this FAA site for more detailed information about air tour management plans. Links to meeting notifications, recordings, and slide decks (where applicable) will be posted to the NPS site.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 424 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Last updated: May 17, 2023