quarta-feira, 5 de julho de 2017




Alamogordo /ˌæləməˈɡɔːrd/ is the seat of Otero County, New Mexico, United States. A city in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert, it is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains and to the west by White Sands National Monument. It is the city nearest to Holloman Air Force Base. The population was 30,403 as of the 2010 census. Alamogordo is known for its connection with the Trinity test, the first explosion of an atomic bomb, and also for the Atari video game burial of 1983.
Humans have lived in the Alamogordo area for at least 11,000 years. The present settlement, established in 1898 to support the construction of the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad, is an early example of a planned community. The city was incorporated in 1912. Tourism became an important economic factor with the creation of White Sands National Monument in 1934. During the 1950-60s, Alamogordo was an unofficial center for research on pilot safety and the developing United States' space program.
Alamogordo is a charter city with a council-manager form of government. City government provides a large number of recreational and leisure facilities for its citizens, including a large park in the center of the city, many smaller parks scattered through the city, a golf course, Alameda Park Zoo, a network of walking paths, Alamogordo Public Library, and a senior citizens' center. Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center is a nonprofit shared military/civilian facility that is also the hospital for Holloman.


Tularosa Basin has been inhabited for at least 11,000 years. There are signs of previous inhabitants in the area such as the Clovis culture, the Folsom culture, the peoples of the Archaic period, and the Formative stage.[7] The Mescalero Apache were already living in the Tularosa Basin when the Spanish came in 1534, and Mescalero oral history says they have always lived there.[8] The Spanish built a chapel at La Luz (about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the future site of Alamogordo) in 1719, although La Luz was not settled until about 1860.[9][10]:167
The city of Alamogordo was founded in June 1898, when the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad, headed by Charles Bishop Eddy, extended the railway to the town.[11]:4, 6–7 Eddy influenced the design of the community, which included large wide thoroughfares and tree-lined irrigation canals.[12] Charles Eddy's brother John Arthur Eddy named the new city Alamogordo ("large/fat cottonwood"[13] in Spanish) after a grove of fat cottonwoods he remembered from the Pecos Riverarea.[11]:x–1 When Alamogordo was laid out in 1898, the east-west streets were given numerical designations, while north-south streets were named after states. The present-day White Sands Boulevard was then called Pennsylvania Avenue.[10]:42, 44–45
Several government buildings in Alamogordo were constructed by the Works Progress Administration, a government program created in 1935 in response to the Great Depression. These include the Otero County Administration Building at 1101 New York Avenue, a Pueblo style building originally constructed as the main U.S. Post Office in 1938. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The main entrance portico features frescoes by Peter Hurd completed in 1942. The Post Office moved out in 1961, and the building was used by a succession of Federal agencies and was known as the Federal Building. The last Federal agency to occupy it was the United States Forest Service who used it as the headquarters of the Lincoln National Forest until October 2008, when that agency moved to a newly constructed building.[14][15] Ownership of the building was transferred to Otero County government and many government offices were moved from the Courthouse to the new Administration Building in February 2009.[16][17] Alamogordo briefly made international news in late 2001 when Christ Community Church held a public book burning of books in the Harry Potter series, and several other series, on December 30.[18][19][20]


As of 2010, Alamogordo had a total area of 19.3 square miles (50.0 km2), all of it land.[21] The city is located at an elevation of 4,336 feet (1,322 m)[1] on the western flank of the Sacramento Mountains and on the eastern edge of the Tularosa Basin. It lies within the Rio Grande rift[22] and in the northernmost part of the Chihuahuan Desert.[23]:36 Tectonic activity is low in the Tularosa Basin.[24] Plants native to the area are typical of the southern New Mexico foothills and include creosote bushmesquitesaltbushcottonwooddesert willow, and many species of cactus and yucca.[25]
The Tularosa Basin is a closed basin, that is, no water flows out of it.[24][26] Because of this and because of the geology of the region, water in the basin is hard: it has very high total dissolved solids concentrations, in excess of 3,000 mg/l.[24][27] The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, a Bureau of Reclamation laboratory doing research and development on desalination of brackish water, is located in Alamogordo.[28] The gypsum crystals of White Sands National Monument are formed in Lake Lucero. Water drains from the mountains carrying dissolved gypsum and collects in Lake Lucero. After the water dries, the winds pick up the gypsum crystals and distribute them over the basin.[23]:37


Alamogordo has a cold desert climate (Köppen BWk) bordering on a hot desert climate (BWh) and a semi-arid climate (BSk) with hot summers and mild winters with frequently subfreezing mornings. Rainfall is low and usually confined to the monsoon season from July to September, when half a typical year’s rainfall of 10.96 inches or 278.4 millimetres will occur – although December 1991 did see 5.45 inches or 138.4 millimetres. The wettest calendar year has been 1941 with 21.87 inches or 555.5 millimetres and the driest 1952 with 4.85 inches or 123.2 millimetres, while the wettest month on record has been September 1941 when 6.94 inches or 176.3 millimetres fell. September 1941 also saw the largest daily rainfall at Alamogordo with 2.60 inches or 66.0 millimetres falling on the 22nd of that month.
Temperatures outside of monsoonal storms are very hot during the summer: 94.8 days exceed 90 °F or 32.2 °C and temperatures as high as 110 °F or 43.3 °C occurred on June 22, 1981 and July 8 of 1951. During the winter, days are very mild and sunny, but nights are cold, with 32 °F or 0 °C reached on 73.6 mornings during an average winter, although only seven mornings have ever fallen to or below 0 °F or −17.8 °C,[29] with the coldest temperature recorded at Alamogordo being −14 °F (−25.6 °C) during a major cold wave on January 11, 1962. Snow is very rare, with a mean of no more than 4.1 inches or 0.10 metres and a median very close to zero. The most snowfall in one month was 10.0 inches (0.25 m) in December 1960.
Alamogordo Tenth Street water tower long shot.jpg
Jim Griggs Sports Complex.JPG
Shops on New York Ave.JPG
Water Tower Tenth Street.JPG
Kids' Kingdom Park.JPG
View from Thunder Rd.JPG


White Sands National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located in the state of New Mexico on the north side of Route 70 about 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Alamogordo in western Otero County and northeastern Doña Ana County. The monument is situated at an elevation of 4,235 feet (1,291 m) in the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin and comprises the southern part of a 275 sq mi (710 km2) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals. The gypsum dune field is the largest of its kind on Earth.[2]


Preparation for a National Park
[edit]The first exploration was led by a party of US Army officers in 1849. [3]:6 [4]:5 The Mescalero Apache were already living in the area at the time. Hispanic families started farming communities in the area at Tularosa in 1861 and at La Luz in 1863.[3]:6
Creating a national park in the white sands formation goes back as far as 1898. A group in El Paso had proposed the creation of "Mescalero" National Park. Their idea was for a game hunting preserve, which conflicted with the idea of preservation held by the Department of the Interior, and their plan was not successful.[3]:17 [4]:52–53 In 1921-1922 Albert Bacon FallUnited States Secretary of the Interior and owner of a large ranch in Three Rivers near White Sands, promoted the idea of a national park there, an "All-Year National Park" that, unlike more northerly parks, would be usable year-round. This idea ran into a number of difficulties and did not succeed.[3]:22–25 [4]:61–70 Tom Charles, an Alamogordo insurance agent and civic booster, was influenced by Fall's ideas. By emphasizing the economic benefits, Charles was able to mobilize enough support to have the park created.[3]:28–32 [4]:77–89
On January 18, 1933, President Herbert Hoover created the White Sands National Monument, acting under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906.[3]:32[5] The dedication and grand opening was on April 29, 1934.[4]:102

Life as a National Monument

Tom Charles became the first custodian of the monument,[3]:35 [4]:99 and upon his retirement in 1939 became the first concessionaire, operating as White Sands Service Company.[3]:72 [4]:117
The Headquarters building (also called the Visitor Center Complex) was constructed of adobe bricks as a Works Progress Administration project starting in 1936 and completed in 1938.[6][7]
The Monument is completely surrounded by military installations (White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base) and has always had an uneasy relationship with the military.[4]:131,175 Errant missiles often fell on WSNM property, in some cases destroying some of the visitor areas.[3]:145 Overflights from Holloman disturbed the tranquility of the area.[4]:149
In 1969, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish introduced oryx into the Tularosa Basin for hunting. The oryx, having no natural predators, invaded WSNM and competed with native species for forage.[3]:172
In 1996, increasingly problematic alcohol abuse by students on spring break led to a ban of alcohol use in the monument during the months of February to May.[8]

World Heritage Site controversy 

WSNM was placed on the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites on January 22, 2008.[9] The state's two U.S. Senators, Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman, wrote letters of support of the application.[10] U.S. Representative Stevan Pearce declined to support the application, saying, "I would guarantee that if White Sands Monument receives this designation, that there will at some point be international pressures exerted that could stop military operations as we know them today."[11]
The WHS application generated much controversy in Otero County, most of it taking place in meetings of the Otero County Commission. A petition with 1,200 signatures opposing the application was presented to the Commission on August 16, 2007.[12] The Commission on August 23, 2007 passed a resolution of opposition to the application,[13] and on October 18, 2007 passed Ordinance 07-05 that purports to make it illegal for WSNM to become a World Heritage Site. [14] On January 24, 2008, after the Tentative List was announced, the Commission instructed the County Attorney to write a letter to the Secretary of the Interior, demanding that WSNM be taken off the list.[15]


The ground in the Alkali Flat and along Lake Lucero's shore is covered with selenite crystals that reach lengths of up to three feet (1 m). Weathering and erosioneventually break the crystals into sand-size grains that are carried away by the prevailing winds from the southwest, forming white dunes. The dunes constantly change shape and slowly move downwind. Since gypsum is water-soluble, the sand that composes the dunes may dissolve and cement together after rain, forming a layer of sand that is more solid and could affect wind resistance of dunes.[17] This resistance does not prevent dunes from quickly covering the plants in their path. Some species of plants, however, can grow fast enough to avoid being buried by the dunes.Gypsum rarely occurs as sand because it is water-soluble. Normally, rain would dissolve the gypsum and carry it to the sea. The Tularosa Basin has no outlet to the sea, so it traps rain that dissolves gypsum from the surrounding San Andres and Sacramento Mountains. Thus water either sinks into the ground, or forms shallow pools that subsequently dry out and leave gypsum on the surface in a crystalline form called selenite. Groundwater that flows out of the Tularosa Basin flows south into the Hueco Basin.[16] During the last ice age, a lake now called Lake Otero covered much of the basin. When it dried out, it left a large flat area of selenite crystals that is now the Alkali Flat. Another lake, Lake Lucero, at the southwest corner of the park, is a dry lake bed, at one of the lowest points of the basin, which occasionally fills with water.
Unlike dunes made of quartz-based sand crystals, the gypsum does not readily convert the sun's energy into heat and thus can be walked upon safely with bare feet, even in the hottest summer months. In areas accessible by car, children frequently use the dunes for downhill sledding. Because the park lies completely within the White Sands Missile Range, both the park and U.S. Route 70 between Las Cruces, New Mexico and Alamogordo are subject to closure for safety reasons when tests are conducted on the missile range. On average, tests occur about twice a week, for a duration of one to two hours. Located on the northernmost boundaries of White Various forms of dunes are found within the limits of White Sands. Dome dunes are found along the southwest margins of the field, transverse and barchan in the core of the field, and parabolic dunes occur in high numbers along the northern, southern, and northeastern margins.[18] From the visitor center at the entrance of the park, the Dunes Drive leads 8 miles (13 km) into the dunes. Four marked trails allow one to explore the dunes by foot. During the summer, there are also Ranger-guided orientation and nature walks. The park participates in the Junior Ranger Program, with various age-group-specific activities 
Dunes as White Sands NM.jpg