President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday intended to eventually reduce or eliminate some national monument designations, in particular those that are at least 100,000 acres.
The monuments received federal protection under Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which gives presidents the power to limit use of public land for historic, cultural, scientific or other reasons.
The order could affect more than two dozen monuments that have been established since 1996. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said one region in particular will get special notice: the remote desert canyon lands of southeastern Utah. At the time, the designations of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument prompted an angry backlash from Utah's leaders.