White Sands National Monument is a United States National Monument that is in the southeastern region of the state of New Mexico. The monument contains the world's largest gypsum sand dune field 275 square miles of fine white sand, formed by the prevailing winds into large ridge-like dunes.
White Sands became a national monument on January 18, 1933 by order of President Herbert Hoover. Efforts to preserve the area's brilliant gypsum dunes had begun in the late 1800's, but it was the enthusiasm of local booster Tom Charles that finally led to the park's creation. In his words "gypsum may be divided into two classes - Commercial and Inspirational. The former everybody has, but as for recreational gypsum, we have it all. No place else in the world do you find these alabaster dunes with the beauty and splendor of the Great White Sands".