WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that his provision to designate White Sands National Monument as New Mexico’s newest national park was included in the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.
The House is expected to vote on the bill this week with Senate consideration to follow.
“Everyone who visits White Sands marvels at its remarkable geology, spectacular scenery, and outstanding recreation experiences,” Heinrich said. “Since I introduced White Sands National Park legislation last year, the broad regional support we’ve received demonstrates the endless opportunities this designation would offer to communities and local businesses across southern New Mexico. By elevating White Sands National Monument to a national park, we can help boost the local economy and ensure the monument receives the recognition it deserves, while enhancing the military mission at White Sands Missile Range. I am pleased that the efforts of a strong coalition of community leaders and local officials who have worked for years to turn White Sands into a national park are finally approaching the finish line. This is a huge win for New Mexico and our public lands as we stand at the precipice of establishing our state’s newest national park.”
In March, Sen. Heinrich introduced the White Sands National Park Establishment Act, a bill to designate White Sands National Monument as New Mexico’s newest national park. U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) led the House version.