Mt. Rushmore National Memorial is one of the most iconic historical sites in the country. But, it seems for some people, Mount Rushmore does not seem to stand on its own. A new viewpoint and animatronic Jesus appear constantly to remind us of the Holy Trinity at the national monument.
"The placement of the confluence of the mountain and the firs is a true work of art, and no other site in the world can claim a tie between art, history and nature," Alexander Ferguson, a landscape architect and the former superintendent of the monument, said in a museum release. "But what is even more impressive is the sheer number of visitors who stand out of their vehicles in the wind to watch the statue for hours at a time."
With so many tourists calling this “our park,” some are pushing for changes. Joe Adams told The Blaze that visitors are risking injury when they stand right behind the bottom of Mt. Rushmore.
According to a Facebook post from Sarah Stack, who lives near the national monument, there is a slippery slope to hiking the edge of the granite. If visitors do not keep their shoulders turned out, they become "highly susceptible to fall.”
"What some call unruly, I call stunning," Stack said. "After having returned four times from our daily walk in the wind to watch our eagle sculpture crinkle and then freeze to death in a snowstorm, the road to ever greater danger and desecration grew ever closer.”
The National Park Service provides a full list of guidelines for visitors for the monument.
"The principles of visitor safety include entering the site at appropriate times; obtaining weather, car, and vehicle information prior to entering the monument; honoring the courtesy policy and working groups; using the park's coat checking procedures to remove all jackets and other bulky clothing before entering the monument; keeping hands and coats away from eyesight when viewing the monument and avoiding other metal objects that may trip, such as swords and flagpoles; and adhering to the visitor's guidebook.
"As a cemetery, Mt. Rushmore has periodically been the site of unauthorized burial and cremation that may have posed a threat to others. Visitors should avoid approaching the north end of the monument," the policy states.
But despite apparent overcrowding issues, the National Park Service says visitors are welcome. “Mount Rushmore is accessible to visitors of all ages. The National Park Service offers Park Viewing Stewardship Program guides to help guide visitors on the trail,” Nancy Murphy, the superintendent of Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, told E! News. “We are also working with local visitors to establish a Mount Rushmore Trail Review Team, which will review plans for improved access.”
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