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Study: White Sands could spur spending by visitors, new jobs


The push to turn White Sands National Monument into a national park is ramping up and one think tank says such a change could boost recognition of the southern New Mexico destination.

It is home to the world’s largest gypsum dune field.

A study released Friday by the nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics found redesignation of White Sands could result in more than $6 million in new spending and more jobs.

The group looked at eight re-designated national parks and found visits increased on average by about 20 percent within five years. The parks also had more overnight visits and spending per visitor than monuments.

The study suggests the uptick in visitation at national parks following the recession will persist as long as the national economy continues to grow.

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