White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is now White Sands National Park. Locals began working to preserve White Sands as a national park more than 100 years ago in order to prevent industry from mining the gypsum, The Associated Press reported . President Herbert Hoover designated it as a national monument in 1933 to preserve "the white sands and additional features of scenic, scientific, and educational interest." In addition to its natural wonders, the park also features the world’s largest collection of fossilized footprints from the Ice Age. Since being designated as a monument, the 275-square miles of dunes have attracted more visitors than any other NPS site in New Mexico, according to Outside . Legislators have now been working to change it to a national park for half a decade. White Sands attracted more than 600,000 visits in 2017 and generated $31 million in spending in the local economy, according to The Associated Press. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who advocated for the change, said that making the area a national park would boost the economy even further. The change in designation will transfer all funding from the former monument to the new park, but the park will […]

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