February 5, 2016 – Las Cruces, NM - On this edition of PUENTES, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra meets with White Sands National Monument Chief of Interpretation, Becky Burghart. This year marks 100 years of the National Park Service. The Park Service has set aside 59 nature sites throughout the Nation – like the dunes of the White Sands National Monument here in New Mexico.
The idea of protecting and setting aside special places like White Sands National Monument, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon for this and future generations started here in America 100 years ago, and has spread to over 70 countries in the world. Burghart says that White Sands became a National Monument 83 years ago and has has been there for well over 10,000 years. It was protected in 1933 by Presidential proclamation because it is such a unique resource and is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. No other place in the world even comes close. The next largest one is in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas and that one is significantly smaller than the 275 square miles of this dune field that we have right here in our backyard.
The milestone of 100 years of conservation will be celebrate all year-long at White Sands National Monument with different events each month. To find out more visit their website at www.nps.gov/whsa.