Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, says he will push early in the 101st Congress for a Great Western Trail to extend from Mexico to Canada.

Hansen told reporters the trail has been a dream of his for years, and the project has begun to pick up support from other states that would be involved. The trail would run, like the Eastern Appalachian Trail, south to north, through Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.He said the trail project could be controversial, although it would largely connect many existing hiking routes.

Congress would have to decide whether to make it a hiking, horse, motor bike or motor vehicle trail, he said.

Hansen also said he will seek early action on a Bureau Of Land Management wilderness bill that Utah "can live with."

Hansen said he is working with Utah officials including Gov. Norman Bangerter, Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, to come up with a bill they can agree upon and introduce within two or three weeks.

"This will be the biggest piece of Utah legislation this session," Hansen said.