FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Tribal leaders in the Southwest are outlining a proposal Thursday to designate a section of southeastern Utah as a national monument.

The proposed Bears Ears National Monument is named for twin buttes that overlook Cedar Mesa. American Indian and conservation groups are seeking to protect a 1.9 million-acre area. They say it's threatened by looting of cultural objects, off-road vehicle use and destruction of gravesites.

They want President Barack Obama to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the area a national monument. Republicans in Utah's congressional delegation have opposed the use of the Antiquities Act. They say it would undermine a larger effort to resolve disputes over public lands in Utah.