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Trump's national monument cuts in Utah draw 5th lawsuit

In this undated file photo, the Upper Gulch section of the Escalante Canyons within Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument features sheer sandstone walls, broken occasionally by tributary canyons. Utah has long stood out for going far beyond other Western states in trying to get back control of its federally protected lands. When President Donald Trump on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, announces he's going to shrink two national monuments in the state, his warm welcome will stand out in a region that is normally protective of its parks and monuments. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Another coalition of conservation groups is suing to stop President Donald Trump's cuts to Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

The lawsuit filed Thursday by 11 organizations including the Sierra Club is the fifth legal challenge to Trump's reductions to Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

It is the third lawsuit focused on Bears Ears, which has land considered sacred to a coalition of Native American tribes.

The complaint echoes arguments made in the two previous Bears Ears lawsuits, claiming that Trump exceeded his power and jeopardized protections for "irreplaceable archaeological sites."

Past presidents have trimmed national monuments 18 times, but there's never been a court ruling about whether the 1906 Antiquities Act — which allows presidents to create a monument — also lets them reduce one.

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