Located in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert, the park’s 275 square miles of sand contain an abundance of a mineral called gypsum. What makes White Sands so much different than any other park is that there is absolutely no shade anywhere. Located 220 miles south of Albuquerque, White Sands … U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat who was among those who pushed for the re-designation, has said he expected the change would boost the local economy and spur more recognition for the unique spot. Friday, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act. White Sands National Park is located within the range. White Sands National Park preserves not only major portion of this unique dune field, but also the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment. A new bill introduced to the Senate would redesignate New Mexico's White Sands National Monument as America's 61st national park. Welcome to the club. The range was originally established as the White Sands Proving Ground on 9 July 1945. Moreover, the closest town is Alamogordo, a 20-minute drive away from the visitor center. White Sands is home to a 176,000-acre gypsum dune field, the world’s largest. What is even more magical is the experience you have when you take of your shoes. A strong coalition of community leaders and local officials have worked for years to turn White Sands into a national park." As a result, the average visitor will benefit from bringing a few essential items. For way too long I took them for granted. The crystals reflect the sun, making them shimmer white to the human eye and feel cool to the touch. OTERO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – White Sands has officially become the 62nd designated national park. White Sands was established as a national monument in 1933 and re-desginated as a national park in 2019. The newest national park, White Sands, is nothing but an optical illusion. It included a … White Sands National … Funds military, and would establish White Sands National Park via land swap; White Sands National Monument could become New Mexico's next national park, as the National Defense Authorization Act proceeded through Congress with a conference report, following passage in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. These unique and amazing traits made White Sands worthy of becoming a National Monument back in 1933. Items You Must Bring to White Sands National Park. 7. If you think about it, the arguments have always made sense. White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is a military testing area operated by the United States Army. However, ever since it was given National Monument status there have been people who have argued that White Sands should have national park status. I n the heart of New Mexico, an ocean of white sand dunes has just become the nation’s 62nd national park.. 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