Superintendent's Compendium - 2022

National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior
White Sands National Park

November 11, 2022 Replaces September 7, 2022

Of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority.

Reviewed by: /Aaron Summerlin, Chief Ranger/ - November 9, 2022

Approved by: /Marie Sauter, Superintendent/ - November 9, 2022


AUTHORITY Under the authority of 16 U.S.C., § 3, and Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Parts1-7, this Compendium of Superintendent’s Orders is established for White Sands National Park. Regulations listed in this compendium are requirements in addition to those listed in Parts 1-7 of Title 36 unless otherwise noted. The specific authority for this regulatory procedure is found in Sections 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7 of Title 36. This Compendium will remain in effect until specifically amended or supplemented by the Superintendent.

Inquiries regarding National Park Service regulations, discretionary actions, requests for permits and other comments may be directed to the Superintendent, White Sands National Park, Post Office Box 1086, Holloman AFB, New Mexico 88330-1086 or at (575) 479-6124.

In addition to these regulations, the following are also provided:

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, are required by§ 1.5(c) and appear in this document as italic print. (Regulations are in boldface print.)

§ 1.6(f) states that a list of those activities, which require a permit, must be maintained. That list appears in this document under 1.6.

As required by 1.7(b), these regulations permit requirements and written determinations shall be updated annually and made available to the public upon request.

Throughout this document, Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations is also referred to as the "general regulations." The primary purpose of the park is to provide and promote scenic, scientific, and educational opportunities while preserving the most impressive portion of the world's largest gypsum dunefield desert and protecting the endemic flora and fauna, unique human and paleontological history, and the quiet solitude of the dunes Pertinent legislation is as follows:

Part 1 - General Provisions

§ 1.1 Purpose

(a) The regulations provide for the proper use, management, government, and protection of persons, property, and natural and cultural resources within areas under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

(b) These regulations will be utilized to fulfill the statutory purposes of units of the National Park system: to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife, and to provide for the enjoyment of those resources in a manner that will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

§ 1.2 Applicability and Scope

(a) The regulations apply to all persons entering, using, visiting, or otherwise within:

1. The boundaries of federally owned lands and waters administered by the National Park Service;
2. The boundaries of lands and waters administered by the National Park Service for public-use purposes pursuant to the terms of a written instrument.

The primary purpose of the park is to provide and promote scenic, scientific, and educational opportunities while preserving the most impressive portion of the world's largest gypsum dunefield and protecting the endemic flora and fauna, unique human and paleontological history, and the quiet solitude of the dunes.

Pertinent legislation is as follows:

January 18, 1933 White Sands National Monument was established by Herbert Hoover, President of the United States of America, with Presidential Proclamation No. 2025 (47 Stat. 2551)
November 28. 1934 Boundaries enlarged by Presidential Proclamation No. 2108 (49 Stat. 3426)
August 29, 1938 Boundaries were modified by Presidential Proclamation No. 2295, eliminating therefrom all sections now included in the right-of-way for United States Highway Route 70 (53 Stat. 2465)
June 6, 1942 This Act added the former White Sands Recreational Demonstration Project to the Monument (56
Stat. 327)
June 27, 1953 Added public lands to the Monument. Presidential Proclamation No. 3024 (18 F.R. 3683)
November 10. 1978 This Act adjusted the Monument boundaries by adding certain lands and deleting others
(92 Stat. 3467)
September 28, 1996 This Act adjusted the Monument boundaries by adding certain lands and deleting others
(110 Stat. 2803)
December 20, 2019 Designation from National Monument to National Park.

Legal Description. White Sands National Park is located in the Tularosa Basin of south central New Mexico, between the Sacramento and San Andres mountains. Its 144,000 acres are 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo, New Mexico in Otero and Don Ana counties. White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base completely surround the Park.

(b) There are no privately owned lands within the boundaries of White Sands National Park.
(c) No special regulations for White Sands National Park have been promulgated at this time.
(d) Apply as written

§ 1.5 Closures and Public Use Limits


• The Superintendent, or his/her designee, may close part or all of the national park for visitor, employee safety and to protect the resource.
• White Sands National Park closes nightly. The times change throughout the year in regard to seasons and sunset times, check park media for current park opening hours. During special programs, the park may close later.
• The Superintendent, or his/her designee, may adjust operational hours open to the public to accommodate operational needs, provide for the safety of the public and to protect the resources.

Since overnight use and camping is permitted in the park, only in established backcountry campsites or with a special park use permit, vehicle(s) may not otherwise remain in the park overnight without approval of the Park Superintendent or his/her designee.

• The Park may be wholly or partly closed during military testing. The visitor center may remain open during operating hours.
• Entry to the west half of the Park, known as the Co-Use Area, is through permit only.
• Residential and maintenance areas are closed to the public.

These areas are closed due to safety considerations. Superintendent may allow permits to the Cooperative Use Area. Two weeks’ notice is required for consideration. Information on the area, potential environmental and other hazards will be available.

• Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of White Sands National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent and Regional Director .

This restriction is necessary to maintain public health and safety, protect nationally significant cultural resources, protect wildlife, implement management responsibilities and avoid conflict among visitor use activities until the NPS can determine whether specific uses of unmanned aircraft on lands administered by the NPS are appropriate and will not cause unacceptable impacts on park resources and values. This closure is a necessary, interim measure until the NPS considers how to address this new use on a long-term basis and that allowing the use of unmanned aircraft before the park has properly evaluated whether this use is appropriate could result in unacceptable impacts to park resources, park values, and visitor safety. Additionally this regulation is necessary to prevent unauthorized aircraft activity that would violate military airspace with the potential to create safety hazards to military operations.

• The consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or the possession of a bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or unopened, or whose seal is broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed is prohibited within the proper/boundary of White Sands National Park except for areas identified in the Superintendent’s Compendium under 2.35 (a)(3)(i). Consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited at all times and all areas to Commercial Film and Photography groups as a condition of their permit.

The documented history of inappropriate behavior induced by the consumption of excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages has adversely affected the safety and enjoyment of visitors.

• Smoke bombs, Smoke grenades, powdered chalk and similar items used to create airborne particulates of any color are prohibited regardless if created with or without a flame.

Recent trends of visitors bringing in devices that create smoke have caused damage to the resources by discoloring the sand. Also the smoke could potentially interfere with neighboring military operations or falsely cause search and rescue operations.

• Use of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), motorized vessels and any other type of motorized conveyance manufactured for recreational, non-highway, off-road or all terrain travel, including those licensed by a state for street use, within park boundaries is prohibited.

The public use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) and other motorized conveyances manufactured for recreational, non-highway, off road, or all terrain travel within the park boundaries poses a significant risk to visitor safety, park resources and values which cannot be appropriately mitigated and which cannot be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts. The use of such vehicle is, therefore, not consistent with the protection of the park.

• Hiking or pedestrian use of vegetated areas off of designated trails and walking systems is prohibited

• Posted signs that prohibit activities will be enforced.

For Example: Areas such the dune adjacent to sunset stroll will have signs designating that sledding is prohibited due to the danger associated with visitors sledding into the road way. Areas with chain gates will be closed to vehicle traffic and access will be granted by permit only.

• COVID-19

When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.

Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs/facilities.

§ 1.6 Permits

Pursuant to the provisions of 36 CFR 1.6(f), the following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the National Park Service is required. Permits are issued by the Superintendent, and are subject to the requirements of the general regulations, and as specified in each permit. As stated in 36 CFR 1.6(g), engaging in these activities without a permit or violation of the terms and conditions of a permit is prohibited.

(F) Permits are required for the following activities:

§2.1 Preservation of natural, cultural and archeological resources
§2.4(d) Weapons, traps and nets
§2.5 Research specimens
§2.10 Camping
§2.16 Horses and pack animals
§2.17 Aircraft and air delivery
§2.23 Recreation fees
§2.35 Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances
§2.38 Explosives
§2.50 Special Park Uses, Events (including broadcasted non-NPS events i.e. amateur radio or similar non regulated broadcast) , weddings.
§2.51 Public assemblies, meetings and 1st Amendment activities in designated areas.
§2.52 Sale or distribution of printed matter
§2.60 Livestock use and agriculture
§2.61 Residing on federal lands
§2.62(b) Memorialization
§4.11 Load, weight and size limits
§5.1 Advertisements
§5.3 Business operations
§5.5 Commercial photography and Film
§5.10 Eating, drinking, or lodging establishments

§ 1.7 Public Notice

(a)(3) Public notice of any discretionary actions (either invocation or revocation) of the Superintendent under the authority of 36 CFR § 1.5 (a) will be in accordance with §1.7.

Part 2 - Resource Protection, Public Use and Recreation

§ 2.1 Preservation of Natural, Cultural, and Archeological Resources

(a) (1) (iv) Possessing or removing any natural, cultural, Native American artifacts, paleontological and archeological resources, including gypsum, selenite crystals is prohibited

This restriction is necessary to prevent the removal of the natural resource for which the Park was created, and to comply with the Archeological Resource Protection Act, The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, and the Native American Grave Protection Act. Management understands that small amounts are incidentally removed on clothing and vehicles. These instances will not be treated as violations.

(a) (4) There are no designated firewood gathering areas within White Sands National Park

It has been determined that collection of firewood would have detrimental ecological effects on the desert plant communities, diminish aesthetic values, and have direct resource impacts.

§ 2.2 Wildlife Protection

(e) Viewing of wildlife with artificial light is prohibited.

The viewing of wildlife, especially mammals, with artificial light may adversely affect their behavior or cause the animal to become confused and stray into traffic, becoming a hazard.

§ 2.4 Weapons, Traps, Nets

(d) The Superintendent may issue a permit to carry or possess a weapon, trap or net under the following circumstances:

1) When necessary to support research activities conducted in accordance with 2.5.

2) For employees, agents or cooperating officials in the performance of their official duties.

(h) Notwithstanding any other provision in 2.4, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.

(i) Park residents are permitted to have firearms in their assigned residence and to transport them in and out of the residence.

Federal law continues to prohibit possession of firearms in designated federal facilities including visitor center, administration, entrance station, gift shops including concession operated gift shops, and maintenance buildings.

§ 2.10 Camping and Food Storage

(a) The Superintendent may require permits, designate sites or areas, and establish conditions for camping sites.

Camping is prohibited within the Park, except in the designated backcountry camping sites and Group Use Area. All camping is by required permit only. Camping atop dunes is prohibited.

This general regulation is necessary for visitor safety and to account for all campers in the event of a military test or other closure. This also reduces the visual impact of camping activity on day users.

(b)(9) Violating conditions which may be established by the superintendent is prohibited.

• Camping may not exceed 7 nights in one campsite location or 14 consecutive nights in a calendar month without prior approval from the superintendent.

This regulation is necessary to allow the campsites to repair and let other visitors have opportunities to camp due to limited number of sites.

• Horses and pack animals are prohibited within the backcountry camping sites and trails. (See also 2.16(g))

This regulation is necessary to avoid conflict with other park visitors and park resources.

• Backcountry campsite use is limited to a maximum of 6 persons per site
• Groups in backcountry camping sites are limited to no more than 2 campsites with a maximum of 12 people total
• No RV or trailer camping is permitted. This includes “pop-up” vans, trucks, and sleeping within vehicles. RV’s and trailers are permitted for day use only.
• Tent camping within Group Use Area is by reservation and permit only
• Camping is only allowed in an assigned site
• No fires permitted
• Only containerized fuel stoves are allowed in the designated backcountry camp sites.
• Do not burn or bury litter or garbage. Pack out what is packed in.
• Quiet hours 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
• Sites must be vacated by 1:00 p.m.
• Campers must park at backcountry parking area/designated areas.
• Pets must be on a 6 foot leash (see also 2.15(a)(2)
• No metal detectors, fireworks, glass containers, hunting, gathering, or collecting
• No generators allowed in backcountry sites
• All other park regulations apply

These regulations are necessary for visitor safety, the protection of park resources, and to account for all campers in the event of a missile test or other military closure. These also reduce the visual impact of camping activity on day users.

§ 2.10 (c) Violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued in accordance with this section is prohibited and may result in the suspension or revocation of the permit.

§ 2.10 (d) Food Storage

Food, lawfully taken fish or wildlife, garbage, and equipment used to cook or store food must be kept sealed in a vehicle, or in a camping unit that is constructed of solid, non-pliable material.

§ 2.11 Picnicking

Picnicking is allowed within the dune area of White Sands National Park and the picnic tables in the Visitor Center Area. Picnic sites are established within the heart of the dunes on Dunes Drive.

§ 2.12 Audio Disturbances

(a) The following are prohibited:
(1) Operating motorized equipment or machinery such as an electric generating plant, motorized toys, or an audio device such as a radio, television set, music player, or musical instrument in a manner: (i) That exceeds a noise level of 60 decibels measured on the A-weighted scale at 50 feet; or, if below that level, nevertheless: (ii) makes noise which is unreasonable considering the nature and purpose of the actor’s conduct, location, time of day or night, purpose for which the area was established, impact on park users, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances.

This will prevent interference with interpretive programs, and prevent negative impacts associated with noise pollution on users visiting the park

Diesel trucks and buses, RV’s and motorcycles, when parked in areas adjacent to the Visitor Center, or Evening Program Areas must stop engines and not idle for more than five minutes.

This will prevent interference with interpretive programs and reduce the odor and fumes and noise pollution associated with diesel vehicles.

(a)(4) Operating a public address system, except in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to § 2.50 or §2.51.

This will prevent interference with interpretive programs, and prevent negative impacts associated with noise pollution on users visiting the park

§ 2.13 Fires
(a) (1) Campfires, ground fires etc. are prohibited at White Sands National Park.

Ground fires create unsightly scars and can become a hazard if buried. The heat from ground fires damages the gypsum sand crystals. Fire scars would reduce the visitor's experience of the park.

• Personal grills are allowed in picnic areas and pull outs along the Dunes Drive. When using personal grills, charcoal must be removed from the park. If using one of the Park's grills leave the charcoal in the grill and douse with water.

The improper disposal of hot coals and debris associated with charcoal grills would create the same hazards and adverse visual impacts as stated above, especially against the white sand. All coals must be disposed of properly.

• Only container style fuel stoves are allowed in the designated backcountry camp sites.

The disposal of coals from the backcountry would be impractical due to the distances from the nearest metal container. Maintenance of coal containers in the backcountry would be impractical as well as unsightly, so the use of coals is prohibited.

• Employees may have fires in NPS designated fireplaces, barbecue grills set up by NPS, or in personal grills.

• Fire Pans and other fire proof containers are allowed except in camping areas and must be in compliance with the following:

o The fire pans or other fire proof containers must be at least six inches above the ground.

The heat from direct contact with the fireproof container can damage the gypsum sand crystals creating scars.

§ 2.14 Sanitation and Refuse

(a) (2) Cascarones (confetti eggs) Piñatas, balloons and/or any type of celebratory item that may create large amount of refuse are prohibited.

Human celebratory items (i.e. confetti eggs and Piñatas) create enormous amounts of refuse (trash) that make it difficult to clean up and litter the landscape creating an eyesore and dangerous to the consumption to the wildlife.

(a) (9) Human body waste must be buried at least 100 feet away from the designated backcountry campsites and trails and at least 6 inches deep. In front country areas, body waste must be disposed of in restrooms.

(b) Human body waste that is generated in backcountry areas may be disposed in trash receptacles, provided it is enclosed in commercial backcountry waste disposal bags with commercially available decomposition substances, such as "Pooh Powder".

Human body waste is a threat to public health. Proper disposal of such waste is required to speed the decomposition process and reduce health hazards and visual pollution.

§ 2.15 Pets

(a)(1) Pets are prohibited within public buildings, public transportation vehicles, or any structure or area closed to the possession of pets by the superintendent. This shall not apply to service dogs accompanying visually impaired persons or hearing ear dogs accompanying hearing impaired persons.

(a) (2) Pets must be crated, caged, restrained on a leash which shall not exceed six feet in length, or otherwise physically confined at all times.

(a) (3) Pets may not be left unattended and tied to an object, or in parked vehicles.

Pets loose and/or unattended may present a possible hazard or threat to other visitors. The hot temperatures found at White Sands National Park can be deadly to pets left unattended in vehicles or other areas of the park. .

(a) (5) Pet owners must dispose of their pet's excrement in trash receptacles.

Managing pet excrement in high use areas and areas where visitors congregate, sit, play, and lay down is necessary for human and pet health and safety. Pet excrement is also unsightly. White Sands National Park has pet walking stations to help facilitate with the removal of pet excrement.

(f) This section does not apply to dogs used by Federal, State and local law enforcement officers and Search & Rescue Personnel in the performance of their official duties.

§ 2.16 Horses and Pack Animals

(a) Pack animals are defined as horses, mules, burros, llamas or other hoofed mammals when designated as pack animals designated by the Superintendent. The use of animals other than those designated as “pack animals” for purposes of transporting equipment is prohibited. For the purpose of this plan, the term “stock” holds the same definition.

(g) The use of horses within the Park is allowed under the following conditions:

1. All horse and pack animal use is by permit only. The Day Use permit is free.
2. All horses and pack animals are prohibited from travel on Dunes Drive, picnic areas, the Group Use Area, the Backcountry Camping sites, all Trails, the Boardwalk and the Co-Use area.
3. Horse trailers must be parked in the designated areas: Horse Unloading Area or other areas as designated by a Law Enforcement Ranger
4. Riding is permitted only during park operating hours.
5. Horses will be securely tied to trailers when not being ridden.
6. Racing and all types of unsafe riding are prohibited.
7. Pets accompanying riders will be on a leash and under physical control at all times.
8. All debris (hay, grass, etc.) and horse excrement will be transported by the owner and disposed of outside the Park.
9. No grazing of any vegetation in the park.
10. All horses and pack animals will be under physical control/restraint at all times. No free trailing or free riding is allowed.
11. All horse and stock use is day use only. No overnight camping with horses and/or stock is allowed.
12. During all military tests (evacuation, stay-closed, no-use/co-use, etc), NO horse use will be permitted.
13. Horse group size is limited to no more than ten stock animals.

These conditions are necessary to permit the safe interaction of horse riders and other visitors and reduce the visual pollution, smell and possible health hazards associated with improperly disposed waste.

§ 2.17 Aircraft and Air Delivery

(a) (1) Any requested operation must be coordinated with, and approved by military authorities and the Superintendent.

(a) (3) Recreational activities such as kiteboarding, use of parachutes/kites/windsurf boards to propel a person or object, or self-propelled rockets or similar activities are prohibited.

This regulation is necessary to prevent unauthorized aircraft activity that would violate military and Park Service restrictions and create safety hazards to visitors.

§ 2.20 Skating, Skateboards, and Similar Devices (i.e. Terra surfing--windsurfers on wheeled boards, etc.) use is not permitted.

Use of these devices is restricted to minimize conflicts with vehicles and Park traffic.

§ 2.21 Smoking

(a) Smoking is prohibited inside all government buildings within White Sands National Park.

The NPS strongly encourages a smoke free environment. Smoking and secondhand smoke have been identified as both a health and safety hazard. Smoking in Government housing is not recommended. Smoking is not allowed in shared Government housing. These restrictions are also enacted to protect public health and structures from fire danger or smoke.

§ 2.22 Property

(a) (2) Property may be left unattended for longer than 24 hours at White Sands National Park only with prior permission from the Superintendent or Designee.

The general regulation stated above is the only condition under which persons may leave property unattended in excess of 24 hours. Otherwise, property may be impounded according to the procedures stated in 36 CFR §2.22(b) and (c).

(b) (1) Property left unattended more than 48 hours without permission will be impounded.

§ 2.23 Recreation Fees

(c) Entrance fees will be suspended on National Public Lands Day and during any other period as determined by the superintendent.

§ 2.35 Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances

(a) (3) (i) White Sands National Park is closed to the consumption of alcoholic beverages all year except at the following locations: Yucca Picnic Area, Road Runner Picnic Area, Primrose Picnic Area, and Group Use Area. Alcohol is prohibited in the Evening Program Area except during NPS events.

This is to ensure there are proper trash receptacles and for the glass containers typically associated with alcoholic beverages. This is also a Preventive Search and Rescue (P-SAR) measure to ensure that people who are under the influence of alcohol do not get lost

§ 2.38 Explosives

(a) Smoke bombs and similar items are prohibited.

§ 2.50 Special Events

(a) Permits for special events will only be issued pursuant to standards established in Directors Order and Reference Manual 53 (Special Park Uses) and 36 CFR. All permit requests must be submitted to the superintendent at least 5 business days prior to the planned event. Application and fees must be collected, and a permit issued prior to a planned event. All planned events must be coordinated through the park.

(A) Early opens must be requested at least 7 days prior to the morning of the early open. The permittee must present their permit prior to entrance into the Park.

(B) Late closes must be requested at least 7 days prior to the night of the late close. Application and fees must be collected prior to the day in question. The permittee must present their permit prior to entrance into the Park.

These regulations are enacted to ensure the protection of park resources, prevent interference with interpretive or other NPS sponsored programs or activities and reduce conflicts with other visitors.

§ 2.51 Designated First Amendment/Public Assembly Location(s)

(e): Public assemblies and meetings are limited to areas designated in Appendix A or other areas designated by an approved permit.

• White Sands National Park Visitor Center at the East side of the paved parking area (see Appendix A map).
• Area 6 on Dunes Drive (see Appendix A map).


These regulations are enacted to ensure the protection of park resources, prevent interference with interpretive or other NPS sponsored programs or activities and reduce conflicts with other visitors.

§ 2.52 Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter

Permits must be obtained for sale or distribution of printed material. Location of such sale or distribution will be limited to those areas allowed by the Superintendent and will generally be limited to areas close to but outside of the visitor center. The Superintendent must issue or deny a sale or distribution of printed material on a proper application within 5 business days.

Permits of this type are necessary to control the sale or distribution of printed mater since such activity may conflict with the overall safety and enjoyment of the Park by the majority of visitors.

§ 2.60 Livestock Use and Agriculture
(a) The running-at-large, herding, driving across, allowing on, pasturing or grazing of livestock of any kind in a park or the use of a park area for agricultural purposes is prohibited.

§ 2.62 Memorialization
(b) The scattering of human ashes from cremation is allowed pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit which are as follows:

A. Remains to be scattered must have been cremated and finely reduced.
B. Scattering by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility or body of water.
C. Areas within White Sands National Park where the scattering of human remains are prohibited are:

• Any location south of the Dunes Drive Mile 2 to Dunes Drive Mile 6.
• The Big Pedestal Road from Park Headquarters to the end.
• The backcountry camping area.
• Within 1 mile of the Visitor Center and Headquarters complex.

D. Scattered human remains shall not be distinguishable to the general public, and shall not be left in any type of container.
E. Containers shall be removed from area.
F. Except for authorization to disperse human remains by scattering, nothing in this permit shall be construed as authorizing an entry or activity otherwise prohibited or restricted by law or regulation.
G. A permit must be obtained from the superintendent prior to dispersal of any remains. Other conditions may apply.

Part 3 - Boating and Water Use Activities

Not Applicable

Part 4 -Vehicles and Traffic Safety

§ 4.11 Load, Weight, and Size Limits

(b) (1) The operation of any tractor/trailer on the road between the Visitor Center and the Dunes Drive is prohibited. Tractor/trailer operators wishing to visit the Park may park their trailers in the service area behind the Maintenance compound. This does not apply to tractor/trailers making deliveries to the Park.

This provision is enacted for the safety of visitors and the protection of the road surface.

§ 4.21 Speed Limits

(a)(2) 25 mph upon sections of park road that under repair or construction.

(b) The posted speed limits at White Sands National Park are:

• 15 MPH from the entrance gate to Entrance Station, within all picnic areas, the employee housing area, maintenance compound, administration complex, and the service road.
• 45 MPH from the Entrance Station to near the Dune Life Nature Trail
• 35 MPH from the Dune Life Nature Trail to the beginning of the Boardwalk Parking Area.
• 25 MPH from the beginning of the Boardwalk Parking area continuing inbound on Dunes Drive except 15 MPH in all picnic areas.

Variations from the speed limit designations in the general regulations have been made where road conditions either allow a higher speed without jeopardizing public safety or require a lower speed limit for public safety.

§ 4.30 Bicycles

(a) The use of bicycles at White Sands National Park is permitted only on the asphalt and packed gypsum roadways and in accordance with applicable traffic regulations.

(f) One hour before sunset until one hour after sunrise helmets, headlights and taillights will be required upon entrance into the Park.

These provisions are enacted for the safety of visitors. Part of the park’s road is made of gypsum sand which can have imperfections that may be difficult to see in the dark. Lights on the bikes reflects NM State Law and helps provide for better visibility for NPS Staff and other cyclist.

***See New Mexico State Law 66-3-701 "Bicycles: effect of regulations", and 32A-24-1 "Child Helmet
Safety Act".

(g) “The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed in White Sands National Park where traditional bicycles are allowed.
E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within White Sands National Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.”

§ 4.31 Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking or soliciting of transportation is prohibited except in designated areas and under conditions established by the superintendent.

Hitchhiking is prohibited at White Sands National park, except for emergency purposes (i.e. medical needs, extreme weather conditions) or inoperative vehicle and unable to contact park personnel for assistance.

Part 5 - Commercial and Private Operations

§ 5.5 Commercial Film/ Photography
A permit is required for motion picture, television, other similar types of commercial filming, and for soundtrack recording.

Still Photography. The taking of photographs of any vehicle, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising without a written permit from the Superintendent is prohibited.

A permit is required for this type of still photography.

First Amendment Area at White Sands National Monument
First Amendment Areas at White Sands National Park
First Amendment Area at White Sands National Monument
First Amendment Areas at White Sands National Park

Last updated: November 29, 2022

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