Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


There could soon be a new American vacation mecca. This spring Congress will decide whether yet another endangered species–nuclear missile sites–should be entrusted to its care as national parks.

Deployed in nearly 1,000 launch facilities across the U.S., the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile system has operated on continuous alert for 30 years. The 1991 START Treaty called for permanent demolition of all but a few Minutemen; the disabled warheads could be opened to the public for historical and educational purposes. Currently, the U.S. Air Force and National Park Service are assessing the feasibility of preserving two sites in South Dakota, the Delta One and Delta Nine launch facilities near Rapid City. Both are attractive because of their proximity to heavily traveled parks, including Badlands and Mount Rushmore.

Public opinion is positive–85 percent of those surveyed for the feasibility study are in favor of national missile parks, but each side has its own twist. Politicians such as South Dakota Senator Roger Porch want to expand tourism. Neighboring Lakota tribes, on the other hand, like the idea of preserving a monument to U.S. greed and destruction. Should be a popular destination.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate