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OUR VIEW: Orange cones on road to Rushmore reflect lunacy of federal shutdown

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opinion Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Mount Rushmore is closed due to the government shutdown, but it doesn’t have to be.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard offered up state resources to keep the mountain open to visitors, but his offer was turned down by the federal government. The feds told Daugaard that the entire national park system is to be included in the shutdown, and evidently no deals can be brokered to break this idiotic stalemate.

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Good for Daugaard for making the offer, although we wonder if the governor seriously expected the feds to allow it to happen.

Meanwhile, the federal government has taken it a step further, showing how stupid things really are at the highest levels.

Orange cones have been placed at pullouts along the highway near Mount Rushmore,

effectively keeping tourists from pulling over to get a good view of the mountain. The National Park Service placed the cones last week, and then removed them during the big blizzard in the Black Hills. Word is, the cones are being returned as the snow melts.

State government is upset about this, and rightly so. Many tourists are in the Black Hills this time of year, and we suspect a good many of them have never before been to Mount Rushmore.

So thanks to the federal shutdown and now these goofy orange cones, the best they can get is a 35 mph glimpse of the famous faces.

It’s for safety, the feds say. Yet those orange cones aren’t in place during the busy months of June, July and August, when we suspect traffic near the monument is probably triple what it is in October.

Now, thanks to the federal shutdown and the continuing lunacy with these orange traffic cones, tourists can’t even get a decent snapshot of Mount Rushmore.

Once again, we can only shake our heads in disbelief.

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