In this April 12, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the newly designated Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, formerly known as the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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The race is on to win President Barack Obama's attention as he puts some final touches on his environmental legacy.Conservation groups, American Indian tribes and federal lawmakers are urging his administration to preserve millions of acres as national monuments. Obama has created or expanded 24 national monuments during his seven-and-a-half-year tenure, the most of any president.Some presidents, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, never exercised their powers to designate national monuments through the 1906 Antiquities Act.That's disconcerting for many members in Congress, particularly Republicans, who say the Antiquities Act wasn't designed to bolster a president's legacy.Bishop said lawmakers would work with the administration on additional protections for some public lands, but environmental groups and others are less willing to compromise knowing they can go to the president to get a national monument designation.
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