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To encourage social distancing there are stickers located on the sidewalk to help guide you safely through the line. Jessica and Mark Lujan walk around White Sands National Monument searching for Pokémon. Now park rangers and other essential employees remain on duty at the park. ... and was among the last to reopen. In this 2016 file photo, hot air balloons fly inside White Sands National Monument. You do not need a Facebook profile to participate. Animals are not permitted in the visitor center or gift shop, with the exception of service animals. Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Missouri. U.S. national parks and recreation areas are letting visitors back in, as officials gradually reopen sections that were closed during the coronavirus … Kit foxes are often found throughout the dunefield. During the December 2018 government shutdown, unauthorized visitors were reported to have breached the fence to visit the then White Sands National Monument. Visitors watch the sunrise from atop the White Sands National Monument dunes during the 26th annual White Sands Balloon Invitational in September. Currently the park is set to reopen … Strong winds blew gypsum at White Sands National Monument Friday afternoon creating a sandy haze on Highway 70. It protects the largest gypsum dune on Earth, a … ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – The majority of national parks are now open across the country but New Mexico’s two national parks are still closed. The main restrooms located next to the visitor center structure are closed at this time. European settlement didn't take place until the 1850s, and by the 1940s, most of the Tularosa Basin had become an active missile range. During the 25th annual White Sands Balloon Invitational, 43 hot air balloons from all over the country took flight over White Sands National Monument. However, White Sands National Park‘s closure doesn’t make sense to locals in Alamogordo, who are eagerly waiting for it to reopen, to stimulate the economy once again. New Mexico’s White Sands National Park hit the big leagues in December 2019, becoming the country’s 62nd national park. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. The NPS said reopening is being discussed on a park-by-park basis. The park's approach is centered around making sure facility functions and services are in compliance with current health guidance, Sauter said. “When recreating, the public will be encouraged to follow local area health orders, practice leave no trace principles, social distance and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. Support local Journalism.Subscribe to the Alamogordo Daily News. White Sands National Monument designated a national park Friday and Saturday, the event was celebrated America’s greatest outdoor treasures are slowly starting to reopen. On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated at the Trinity site, about 100 miles north of the monument. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Sunset sets the sky ablaze over White Sands National Monument. Lake Lucero and Alkali Flat are the primary source of new dunes in the monument. The visitor center, bookstore, gift shop, Dunes Drive, trails, and picnic areas are open to the public. Sauter said the park and National Park Service await guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities on when to reopen to the public. Read or Share this story: https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/community/2020/05/28/alamogordo-new-mexico-tourism-white-sands-national-park-reopening-coronavirus/5196242002/. An estimated 2,300 visitors entered White Sands National Monument alone during the 2016 White Sands Balloon Festival in September. The park was closed due to COVID-19 coronavirus heath restrictions and, as a part of the National Parks Service, was part of a phased reopening. 32.1k Followers, 0 Following, 113 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from White Sands National Park (@whitesandsnps) More: New Mexico Sen. Heinrich, Congresswoman Torres Small celebrate White Sands designation. Alamogordo, NM | KRQE News 13 | 06-11. For more information on White Sands National Park, visit the park's website. Help keep the park and your visit safe by staying on the road and driving cautiously to avoid any rogue sledders. To encourage social distancing there are stickers located on the sidewalk to help guide you into the structure. The entrance to the visitor center is done from the south parking lot. The nearest restaurants and gas stations to the monument are located in the town of Alamogordo, 13 miles northeast of the park on US Highway 70. Walk up table service is available in the visitor center breezway. Travelers wonder when White Sands National Park will reopen. EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – White Sands National Park posted a plan on its website for phase reopening of the park starting this week. When will White Sands National Park open: The area was designated as the newest US national park in December 2019, but was closed shortly after due to COVID-19. The White Sands pupfish is so rare that it's found only in two springs and two streams in New Mexico's Tularosa Basin. Travelers wonder when White Sands National Park will reopen 12-06-2020 00:51 via krqe.com ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – The majority of national parks are now open across the country but New Mexico’s two national parks are still closed. Visitors park alongside US 70, ready to hop a fence into White Sands National Monument, which is closed because of the government shutdown. White Sands National Park. To exit the structure there is a one-way path through the inner patio between the gift shop and visitor center. Visitor … The CDC has a list of guidelines for safe outdoor recreation. Please use the pet waste stations located on the western side of the visitor center parking lot and west side of gift shop parking lot. After more than 80 years as White Sands National Monument, Congress authorized its redesignation to a national park at the end of 2019. Amanda Junk. We reccomend to social distance and wear a mask. More: Unauthorized visitors at White Sands after federal government shutdown. © 2020 alamogordonews.com, All rights reserved. 36: White Sands National Park 2019 visitors: 608,785 Already a national monument for decades, White Sands in New Mexico is America's newest national park , … Visitors take off their shoes Dec. 24, 2018, to enjoy White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico, despite the park being closed because of the government shutdown. The dunes glow golden with dawn's early light. Remember, you do not need to stop at the visitor center to pay the park fee or get a brochure - you'll do that at the park's entrance station along Dunes Drives. Alamogordo Daily News. Typed comments will be lost if you are not logged in. Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at nmaxwell@alamogordonews.com, by … The majority of national parks are now open across the country but New Mexico's two national parks are still closed. Fill up your water containers at the visitor center area; there is no water available in the dunefield. Unauthorized visitors at White Sands after federal government shutdown, Visitors return to White Sands National Monument after shutdown, New Mexico Sen. Heinrich, Congresswoman Torres Small celebrate White Sands designation, City clarifies permissible animal tethering, Alamogordo sisters help students with emotions, Bies says goodbye to Otero County Commission, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Shadows and light create what looks like a knife's edge of sand in White Sands National Monument. The park received over 600,000 visitors in 2018, when it was still only a national monument, creating an economic impact of $32,192,000, according to the National Park Service. White Sands National Park, New Mexico. Dara Parker, spokeswoman for Sen. Martin Heinrich, will be providing information on the White Sands National Park Establishment Act at Thursday's Otero County Commission meeting. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. Here’s The Status Of Our Favorites. At the time U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich said elevating the site to a national monument would help increase tourism and boost the local economy. 62 Parks Traveler How to Stay Safe as National Parks Reopen Thirty-nine out of 62 park units have begun phased reopening. Under the wing of National Park Service, White Sands is opening the doors for visitors under some constrictions. Located in the visitor center breezeway, park rangers will be offering an information table to ask your park questions or pick up Junior Ranger books. During the phased reopening of White Sands National Park due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will see a modification to our normal operations. If you see comments in violation of our community guidelines, please report them. Some national parks are starting to reopen gradually. Reopening a national park is not as simple as raising the gates. Jay and Joanne Cole renewed their wedding vows at White Sands National Monument in October 2017. White Sands National Monument recorded 555,793 visitors enter the park in 2016, which is a 12 percent increase from the previous year and the highest visitation recorded since 1998. Unfortunately, permits for backcountry camping aren't available right now. (Photo: Cristina Carreon). In this 2015 file photo, several spectators gather at the White Sands Balloon Invitational at White Sands National Monument. The Story of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, An Annual Gift from Our Public Lands; More: Visitors return to White Sands National Monument after shutdown. These small carnivores are about the size of a Chihuahua, weighing between 3 and 5 pounds. The soaptree yucca found within the dunefields can grow up to 30 feet tall. W hitman Mission National Historic Site, Washington. The interior of the visitor center presents various examples of artistry in construction and furnishings, such as decoratively carved corbels, benches and chairs, and individually crafted tin lighting fixtures.In 1990, the visitor center and adjacent seven buildings, also built between 1936 and 1940, were officially designated as the White Sands National Park Historic District. White Sands National Park Historic District. National Parks Are Slowly Reopening. The most recent addition, announced just last month, was White Sands National Monument. It's OK to disagree with someone's ideas, but personal attacks, insults, threats, hate speech, advocating violence and other violations can result in a ban. The visitor center and gift shop are open 364 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day. Open / Close / Reopening Status of White Sands National Park due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) White Sands National Park is … Set in a landscape of native plants, the historic district preserves this unique architectural style and is a tribute to the plans of the architects and the fine artisanship of the WPA workers. Visitor center closed. The monument resumed operations on Saturday (1/26), and will be open daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. White Sands National Park was designated a national park in November and is considered to be a local jewel in Otero County. Visitor attractions including the information desk, museum exhibits, park store, and White Sands Trading Company opened along with the monument. Situated between Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range is a large swathe of gypsum desert. They are very shy and are active only at night. White Sands National Monument visitors explore the Interdune Boardwalk in 2019. An estimated 31 hot air balloons are projected to fly again in White Sands National Monument on Saturday morning. When COVID-19 took hold of the world the closures came fast. Two trails inside White Sands National Monument had been closed for three years following a crash of an unmanned U.S. Air Force QF-4E Phantom II jet from Holloman Air Force Base. Reopening Timeline for National Parks: White Sands National Monument – January 26. White Sands National Park New Mexico. “We have not had any significant issues with unauthorized guests, and we’d like to thank the public for helping to keep White Sands the special place that it is," White Sands National Park Superintendent Marie Sauter said. At least 45 species are found here and nowhere else on Earth. Poor White Sands. A visitor hikes the newly reopened Dune Life Nature Trail on Thursday afternoon. You will need to register before adding a comment. Please be polite. ... Of the 419 parks in the National Park Service, ... New Mexico — White Sands National Monument There is NO off-road driving allowed. ... White Sands National Park, New Mexico Status: Closed. White Sands Trading Company gift shop will be offering table service for water, snacks, sleds, and an assortment of souvenirs. We ask your help to maintain your social distance and wear a mask. John and Becky Igel of Ft. Collins, Colo. on the Interdune Boardwalk at White Sands National Monument Monday. In this file photo, hundreds of cars make their way into White Sands National Monument for a Full Moon Night event in 2016. Its height helps it survive the shifting sands and stay above the dunes. Event coordinators tracked the wind at 6.9 mph before they cancelled the White Sands National Monument launch at 8 a.m. Saturday. Dylan Taylor-Lehman, Alamogordo (N.M) Daily News. Under more regular conditions, tourists visiting White Sands National Park would stop at one of the City of Alamogordo's many locally-owned restaurants and shops. Hours of operation vary by season. The same is true of White Sands National Park, New Mexico, which they also closed. Due to current public health conditions, the exhibits and theater are closed. The Acadia National Park visitor center near Bar Harbor, Maine, remains closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Department of the Interior officials are pushing to quickly reopen national parks. White Sands National Monument preserves 224 square miles of the world's largest gypsum dunefield. From unexpected day closures to significant budget cuts to social media mutinies defying the White House, these are trying times for the U.S. National Park Service. White Sands National Monument visitors enjoy the gypsum sand dunes in 2017. Hundreds of people climbed the fence along U.S. Highway 70 West to gain access to White Sands National Monument during the federal government shutdown Saturday. The Interdune Boardwalk is an elevated boardwalk that leads you through the fragile interdune area to a scenic view of the dunefield and the Sacramento mountains. The park received over 600,000 visitors in 2018, when it was still only a national monument, creating an economic impact of $32,192,000, according to the National Park Service . Under more regular conditions, tourists visiting White Sands National Park would stop at one of the City of Alamogordo's many locally-owned restaurants and shops. Recent Posts. Senior Airman Alex Greenawalt, a 49th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician and Airman 1st Class Alana Greenawalt, a 635th Materiel Maintenance Group power production technician, pose for a photo at White Sands National Monument on Dec. 23, 2016. A sign informs White Sands National Monument hikers about taking enough water while hiking on trails. There was some good news last year, however, with the official designation of two new national parks. White Sands National Park, New Mexico. In some circumstances, during these initial phases of resuming operations, visitors should be prepared for limited access to services," Sauter said. A semi drives through a sandstorm near White Sands National Monument on Highway 70 Friday afternoon. Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at nmaxwell@alamogordonews.com, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter. The end of their line meets up with the path that leads you out of the visitor center. Lauren Ossen and her dog Meatball, Ft. Bliss residents, walk around White Sands National Monument on Saturday morning. In 2019 the then-monument created an economic impact in surrounding communities of $37,145,000 — a number that supporters of a national park designation argued would only increase. White Sands National Monument will host a full moon night concert and unveil the new Girl Scout patch Thursday. According to the National Park Service, the dunefield has about 4.5 billion tons of gypsum sand and can be seen from space. ... 2020 to reflect Rocky Mountain National Park partial reopening and Florida National Parks closure due to Tropical Storm Eta. For more information on White Sands National Park, visit the park's website. White Sands National Park has more than 143,000 acres of desert landscape to explore, but only 1 road! Several others never closed for the pandemic. The gift shop currently has a table outside their main double doors facing the north parking lot. Courtesy Tularosa Basin Historical Society, The dancers were filming a video at White Sands this week for the "Song of Light" from Tandon's recent album "Shivoham - the Quest.". Winds reached up to 40 mph. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. The visitor center structure is allowing one-way traffic through to a modified front desk. Three national parks will open their gates in coming days and the National Park Service announced last week that it would start “increasing access and services in a phased approach across all units of the National Park System.” It’s currently undergoing a phased reopening with limited activities, and you should be able to enjoy its full operations in 2021. These guidelines include visiting parks close to home, do not visit parks if ill with or recovering from COVID-19, do not go to crowded parks, avoid playgrounds and more. People have called the White Sands National Monument area home for more than 10,000 years. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Also, keep in mind that all out-of-state travelers are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after entering the state. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. White Sands National Monument re-opens to visitors today. A visitor takes advantage of the winds and flies a kite. She said the park's priority remains the health and safety of employees and visitors. This image was caught on a remote camera. In this May 2016 file photo, a White Sands National Monument visitor slides down a dune at the monument. White Sands has been closed since October 1 due to the lapse in Congressional appropriations. U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. But hey, it's open now! Open. Amid COVID-19, White Sands National Park is not open yet, but officials are waiting for approval to reopen when the time comes. But past government-mandated closures didn't stop visitors from breaching the park's fence. Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly told Traveler earlier this month that bringing his park's 400-500 seasonal workers back to work for the summer season was going to be a complicated operation because of the virus. ’ s greatest outdoor treasures are slowly starting to reopen a knife 's edge of sand in Sands. 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