THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT
Places to Visit
Navajo Nation Reservation
The Navajo Nation Reservation has a population of 250,000 people. Oil was found in 1920 on the Navajo land. As the demand from American oil companies increased, a tribal government was created to regulate and lease the land. The land covers 27,000 square miles. The reservation started small after the Treaty of 1868 was signed and the Navajo people were allowed to come back to their homeland.
Underneath the park, there are a total of 83 caves. The caverns were created from a process called speleogenesis. This process involves water and limestone. Settlers discovered the caves after searching for bat guano which they used as fertilizer. The explored parts of the caves total more than 30 miles. In 1993 the caverns were granted protection after congress passed legislation.
The Ancestral Pueblo people were the first to settle in the area around 1150 CE. In the park, you can still see evidence of their lives. Woodrow Wilson signed legislation that made the area a national monument. There is a large presence of wildlife at the monument. Black bears, mountain lions, elk, and even bats can be found.
White Sands National Park became a national monument when President Hoover signed the Antiquities act of 1906. Before it was protected, people came to the area for many different reasons. In the early days, people came looking for food, water, and shelter. Later on when explorers and miners made their way to the White Sand National Park to find salt and gypsum.