- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - President Donald Trump is praising Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch for his dogged push for a review of national monuments on federal lands.

Trump called the Utah lawmaker “tough” Wednesday before signing an executive order directing his interior secretary to review the designation of 24 national monuments, including Bears Ears in southeastern Utah. The president then presented Hatch with the pen he used to sign the order.

Trump also thanked Utah Gov. Gary Herbert during the ceremony in Washington, D.C., and singled out Utah Sen. Mike Lee for his work on the issue.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the president to declare federal lands as monuments and restrict how the lands can be used.

The Bears Ears National Monument covers 1.3 million acres of land that’s sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.

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