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President Obama on Wednesday will designate nearly half a million acres in New Mexico as a national monument, the latest in a series of executive actions intended to improve environmental protections of federal lands.

The president will sign a proclamation establishing the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument, the largest such designation of his presidency, during a ceremony at the Department of the Interior, the White House said Monday.

It will be the 11th time the president has established a national monument during his term, and the largest designation in terms of land mass during his presidency.

By contrast, former President George W. Bush established only four national monuments during his eight years in office.