The State Division of History has formed a special council to coordinate events for Utah's sesquicentennial celebration in 1997. The occasion notes the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Mormon pioneers in Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.

The yearlong observation will focus not only on the pioneers, but on Utah's Native American populations and the many people who ultimately contributed to the makeup of the state, said Rhonda B. Greenwood, council coordinator.The sesquicentennial follows by just one year the celebration of Utah statehood.

The council encourages organizations to be thinking about projects and events in keeping with the sesquicentennial.

The Utah Legislature funded the council during its 1994 session. The 15 members of the group include representatives of the divisions of history, parks and recreation, travel development and Indians Affairs, along with non-government groups such as the Mormon Trails Association, Oregon/California Trails Association, Sons of Utah Pioneers, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Days of '47 Committee, Ogden Pioneer Days Committee, Utah Historical Trails Consortium and the national parks. Three members will represent the public at large.

Elliot Cameron, Provo, is the council chairman. He is president-elect of the National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers.

For information, call 533-3553.