LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Las Cruces City Council approved a statement of support encouraging the federal government to upgrade White Sands National Monument to a national park.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the council voted unanimously Monday in favor of the statement, which calls on lawmakers to pass the proposed White Sands National Park Establishment Act.

Dara Parker, field representative for U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, says the bill hasn’t been introduced yet, but says she’s hoping to introduce it “very soon.”

Parker told the City Council the proposed bill would achieve a land swap with White Sands Missile Range and clarify some questions raised by previous congressional actions.

Parker says national parks tend to have a higher profile than monuments, which could boost tourism.

White Sands, located between Las Cruces and Alamogordo, was designated a national monument in 1933.


Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com