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Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, has helped introduce legislation designed to endanger what he says is current abuse of the Endangered Species Act.

The bill would prohibit new listing of any species as endangered or threatened and the new designation of critical habitat to protect such animals and plants until the Endangered Species Act is reauthorized by Congress.The bill was scheduled for reauthorization in 1992, but a Hansen press release charged that Democratic leaders have blocked such reworking of it "because of fears that it would be changed to put common sense into the act."

Hansen said current enforcement action has put private property rights under attack.

"The Endangered Species Act has become the weapon of choice for the extreme environmentalists," he said. "In Iron County, a furniture manufacturer was nearly prevented from providing 400 jobs because of the prairie dog."

He added, "Enough is enough. It is time to allow the will of the people to be enacted."

Hansen is an original co-sponsor of the bill. However, because Congress is expected to be in session for only another two weeks or so, it has little chance of passage this year.