PIERRE, S.D. — U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., introduced legislation protecting Mount Rushmore National Monument by prohibiting the use of federal funds to alter, change, destroy or remove the likeness, the name of, or any faces on the monument.
The legislation was introduced Thursday, June 25, in response to threats against the monument from protesters across the country targeting confederate statues.
Johnson said Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln championed the cause of freedom.
“Those seeking to remove these iconic faces are undermining the contributions these leaders made in pursuit of a more perfect union. Removal would do nothing to move our country forward.”
As to whether or not Mount Rushmore would be destroyed by protesters, Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted, "Not on my watch."
While no officials threats have been made against the Black Hills tourist attraction, a fireworks show with President Donald Trump attending may draw protesters to the mountain on July 3.
The Black Hills has been revered as a sacred place of peace to Great Plains Indians, and the mountain on which the presidential faces are carved is a site of importance to the Lakota known as Six Grandfathers.