More than 100,000 acres of towering sand dunes, snow-capped mountains and high desert are now the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.
Interior Secretary Gale Norton signed documents on Monday to establish the preserve. It's a combination of the former Great Sand Dunes National Monument and the neighboring Baca Ranch.
Colorado Congressman Scott McInnis sponsored legislation to make
the monument in southern Colorado a national park. He joined in the
ceremony at the site.
The sand dunes were declared a national monument in 1932 by President Herbert Hoover. The area will expand to about 107,000 acres from 43,000 acres. Part will be managed by the National Park Service and part by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.