Proposal wants to add White Sands to list of national parks

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ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE)- There are only 58 national parks in the United States and New Mexico only has one of them: Carlsbad Caverns.

Now there’s a push to add White Sands to the list.

The White Sands National monument near Alamogordo is a site like no other, attracting tourists from around the world.

It’s also one of the most photographed places in New Mexico.

“It’s fabulous, it’s gorgeous, there’s all sorts of greenery and there’s little animals around that you can chase around and it’s a great family place,” said Suzi Palomino, who lives near White Sands.

Senator Martin Heinrich wants to introduce legislation to turn the national monument into a national park.

Read more from U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich’s >>

At an Otero County commission meeting a spokeswoman for the senator’s office briefed everyone on the latest developments.

The bill would not change management of the dunes or hike the price for admission.

The national park designation could mean more protection and resources for White Sands and bring more prestige and exposure.

“That’s more government, and more control, more restrictions on the land,” said Craig Speck, who lives in Alamogordo.

Others think making it a national park will help get the word out about this New Mexico treasure.

“We need to do everything that we can to promote it worldwide,” said Freddie Pacheco, who lives in Alamogordo.

Senator Heinrich’s office says promoting White Sands to national park status would not affect the missile range or its air space.

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