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White Sands was established as a national monument in 1933 and re-desginated as a national park … Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming also will partially reopened May 18. But New Mexico enacted health safety mandates restricting the number of people who could gather in a group, and the U.S. National park Service closed the park March 22 in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. White Sands National Park preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here. Several others never closed for the pandemic. Travelers wonder when White Sands National Park will reopen The majority of national parks are now open across the country but New Mexico's two national parks are still closed. 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 … With air travel way down, this is expected to be the summer of the family road trip. Phased reopening – some locations closed due to COVID-19 We are working to increase access to the park in a phased approach. She said the park's priority remains the health and safety of employees and visitors. One of Otero County's premiere tourist attractions reopened to the public, at least partially. Park … More: ECSO and others offering help to those affected by COVID-19 Dunes Drive and all hiking trails will remain open at White Sands National Park… The NPS said reopening is being discussed on a park-by-park basis. In support of the New Mexico Public Health Orders and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, White Sands National Park will temporarily limit indoor services. The Western National Parks Association (WNPA) Our History. White Sands National Park was designated a … Occasionally the road into the park can close due to missile testing. On top of that, his office answers more than thirty calls a day from travelers asking when they can visit the park. White Sands National Park Visitor Center, gift shop, Dunes Drive, hiking trails, picnic areas, sledding and … 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. History made: Women hold majority in New Mexico House of Representatives, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office recognizes deputy of the year, Biden rescinds Trump’s emergency declaration on border security, halts border wall construction, Bill proposes to allow alcohol deliveries, Santa Fe police clear scene after suspicious item found in parking lot, Santa Fe Capitol Complex stays quiet on Inauguration Day, Trump extends Secret Service protection to 14 family members, reports say. The CDC has a list of guidelines for safe outdoor recreation. During the December 2018 government shutdown, unauthorized visitors were reported to have breached the fence to visit the then White Sands National Monument. Over the next several weeks, they'll be highlighting the action of deputies like Donnie Kee. “It’s absolutely been devastating to the traffic coming to our community, using our hotels and all those kind of things,” says GB Oliver, the Executive Director of the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce. “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. 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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 … The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Reopening Timeline for National Parks: White Sands National Monument – January 26. EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Park Service has announced changes at three of the region’s largest national parks, including White Sands National Park, Guadalupe National Park, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – White Sands National Park posted a plan on its website for phase reopening of the park starting this week. White Sands will close the visitor center, Western National Parks park store, White Sands … White Sands National Park is at White Sands National Park. More: New Mexico Sen. Heinrich, Congresswoman Torres Small celebrate White Sands designation. Primary roads, some restrooms and hiking trails will be open but campgrounds and overnight lodgings remain … AddThis. 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. A few weeks ago, he helped after a drunk driver crashed into someone's fence. But past government-mandated closures didn't stop visitors from breaching the park's fence. As of May 1st, White Sands … He was named deputy of the year. Travelers wonder when White Sands National Park will reopen KRQE News 13| 06-11 ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – The majority of national parks are now open across the country but New Mexico’s two … That is a lot of sand! Since the system was put in place late last year, New Mexico has been ordering the maximum number of doses that it can and its orders are typically filled, said Matt Bieber, a spokesman for the state Health Department. White Sands National Park was designated a national park in November and is considered to be a local jewel in Otero County. America’s newest national park didn’t pick a great time for its … Subscribe to the Alamogordo Daily News. It’s a huge, huge facility. We will reopen on December 26 at 7:00 am. For more information on White Sands National Park, visit the park's website. What’s inside President Biden’s Oval Office? Travelers wonder when White Sands National Park will reopen In some circumstances, during these initial phases of resuming operations, visitors should be prepared for limited access to services," Sauter said. “The biggest change is that more people become aware of you when you’re on the national park list,” said Kelly Carroll, the park… "There has been some conversation, we are hopeful, and still staying in that mode where we are hopeful, that we are going to be able to play all sports in the 2021 school year. © 1998 - 2021 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved. So far, Oliver says he has no idea when White Sands will reopen. Under the wing of National Park Service, White Sands … The Dunes Area, Hiking Trails, Picnic Areas, Visitor Center, and Gift Shop … Full Story. The park was closed for 35 days then and some maintenance was needed before it could reopen to the public. The governor's office has yet to make a decision on if or when high school sports can be played in New Mexico. 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. While COVID-19 has changed events and how White Sands operates (it is doing a phased reopening), shifting from a national monument to a national park hasn’t. 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. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials said Wednesday they don’t expect to run out of the COVID-19 vaccine. NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The San Juan County Sheriff's Office's annual awards ceremony is canceled this year because of the pandemic. “You don’t have huge clusters of people, various places. In 1937, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument was one of many national monuments scattered across Arizona and New Mexico. Will Trump’s pardon of Steve Bannon be valid after impeachment? Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. A White Sands spokesperson says they are in the middle of working on a plan to reopen, but they do not have a date just yet. They say the plan will include safety precautions for visitors and staff. The monument resumed operations on Saturday (1/26), and will be open daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. 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. US Highway 70 between White Sands National Park and Las Cruces may also be closed during missile … Tourism officials in Las Cruces also say White Sands’ closure is hurting their economy. Situated between Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range is a large swathe of gypsum desert. Park Closures. He says it makes no sense for the park to be closed because it’s a wide-open space. Support local Journalism. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season. Now park rangers and other essential employees remain on duty at the park. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Much like the discoveries made by Darwin in the Galapagos, the animals and plants here show remarkable adaptations to this harsh environment. It is very easy to get lost in the … Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, access to White Sands National Park … "We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and work spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers," Sauter said. The Park Service did not provide a specific timeline for reopening but said it would happen on a "unit-by-unit basis." The dunes, trails, visitor center, and gift shop, picnic areas, and restrooms are open at White Sands National Park. Currently the park is set to reopen on Tuesday, … 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. More: Unauthorized visitors at White Sands after federal government shutdown. The White Sands pupfish is the only species of fish endemic to the Tularosa Basin, and it is the only fish found in White Sands National Park. The park's approach is centered around making sure facility functions and services are in compliance with current health guidance, Sauter said. More: Visitors return to White Sands National Monument after shutdown. It’s easy to understand why Carlsbad Caverns is still closed because it’s an enclosed space. Here's how to stay safe if you visit them. 12/21/2020 . However, we have not been given the green light as of yet," said NMAA Director Sally Marquez. That's not stopping them from honoring their standout deputies. Thursday, May 28, 2020. The National Park … Wide-open sunshine,” says Oliver. White Sands National Park will be closed on Christmas Day - Friday, December 25. 34.3k Followers, 0 Following, 121 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from White Sands National Park (@whitesandsnps) The department is recognizing them on Facebook instead. 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White Sands’ website still shows the national park is closed because of the pandemic. Open / Close / Reopening Status of White Sands National Park due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) White Sands National Park is temporarily closed as of Sunday, March 22, 2020. Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at nmaxwell@alamogordonews.com, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter, White Sands National Monument designated a national park Friday and Saturday, the event was celebrated, 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, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. White Sands National Park New Mexico. Deputy Kee stayed to repair the fence so the homeowner's dogs wouldn't get out of the yard. 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. White Sands … Visitor … 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. The park visitor center and gift shop remain open during missile test closures. It has dark eyes, silver scales, and grows from 1.75 inches to … That had the New Mexico Athletics Association director addressing the issue. Look here for the latest information. White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved. The White Sands gypsum dunefield is 275 square miles in size. The National Park Service says it is working with the CDC, FEMA, and local state health authorities to determine when each park should open. Thirty-nine out of 62 park units have begun phased reopening. Unfortunately, permits for … “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. 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. As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic lockdowns ease and Americans look to hit the road, national and state parks are among the first destinations to welcome them. There are many opportunities to explore the dunefield within the park boundaries. NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –  While the governor's office has loosened up the rules for college sports practices in New Mexico, high school sports are still in limbo as the spring semester gets underway with students still at home. KRQE News 13 asked the governor’s office if they want the National Park Service to reopen White Sands, but did not get a response. 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