Introducing the Region
Otero County, New Mexico is home to a couple of important environmental wonders. The Lincoln National Forest, which was named after our 16th president. In the region is also the largest deposit of gypsum sand in the world – the White Sands National Monument. These two sites are both located in Otero County, New Mexico and are beautiful parts of the New Mexico ecology.
White Sands National Monument Environmental Risk
White Sands was founded as a national monument in the early 1900’s. The park was officially made a national monument by president Herbert Hoover in 1934. The vast empty space contrasting bright white sands with the blue skies above make for an interesting visit. One might find this location a good place to experience an empty void or a quiet refuge. Geologists will love the gypsum and the opportunity to camp under the stars in primitive camp sites.
If you want to be active conservationist then the best way to take the first step is to experience the beauty of a place first hand. The pictures you see of White Sands on the sites do not do the location justice. Consider visiting the site in the spring or fall when the temps are bearable. Always check with the national parks website and information boards. Unfortunately, the site is not protected by National Monument status anymore and missile testing is done on site.
Lincoln National Forest
The Lincoln National Forest is a massive park. It covers over 1 million square acres of land. The park is the birthplace of Smokey the Bear. I remember the story I read in elementary school about Smokey who survived a forest fire and became the living mascot of fire prevention. Smokey is a symbol of all that is important in fire prevention and national park preservation in the United States. We want our national resources and monuments to be preserved for our children and grandchildren. The Lincoln National Forest is a refuge in the deserts of New Mexico and a beautiful shade in the midst of the sunny regions of the southwest.