A PUSH TO SAVE IDAHO HISTORIC SITES GAINS MOMENTUM

HERITAGE TRUST: GROUP TO SEEK OUT PROJECTS THAT UNIFY PEOPLE WITH STATE'S CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL WEALTH.As Idaho's Centennial celebration draws to a close, the Idaho Heritage Trust is gaining momentum to preserve historic sites and natural resources, its chairwoman says.

The Idaho Heritage Trust was created to protect land and buildings tied to the state's past and its way of life, said Glenn Janss, Sun Valley, chairwoman of the group's board of directors."Quality of life seems to be on everyone's lips; keep the quality of life the way we've always loved it in Idaho," she said.

The group will seek out preservation proj-ects that unify people today with the state's cultural and environmental wealth, said Janss, adding it is no accident it grew out of the Lasting Legacy Committee of the Idaho Centennial Commission.

The Heritage Trust can perhaps best be explained by the two projects first identified by it. It will put up a small amount of money - $3,000 - and assist with the purchase and continuance of one of the remaining remote ranches on the main Salmon River, the former Zaunmiller place at Campbell's Ferry.

The wilderness homestead was home to Joe and Francis Zaunmiller, with the woman of the house a well-known columnist for the Idaho County Free Press. The trust will work to protect the land from any development, while allowing limited public access to a ranch that remains in a pre-mechanized world.

The Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Forest Service also will assist in the plans for the 85 acres that will continue to be privately owned but with many stipulations about use. The land owners will maintain the buildings.

The other current project is the purchase of much of the historic town of Chesterfield, an early Mormon settlement near Lava Hot Springs in southeast Idaho.

Descendants of the 1880s settlement formed a foundation to buy back buildings and land, with the plan to have an historic village open to the public.

The trust will assist with the real estate purchase, including numerous brick buildings where there are no modern improvements or signs of modern society.

In both cases the trust will not own the property or be in charge of operations. Its efforts will be half funded by the $1 from each license plate, and half by private donations, including corporate donors.

The license fee should generate $1.3 million every five years and the group hopes to raise an equal share by the end of 1991, Ms. Janss said.

Three projects are being considered: the old North Idaho Children's Home and Steamboat Jean at Lewiston, and Elk Creek Falls at Elk River.

The old children's home site is part of the cultural and architectural heritage, the steamboat is tied to past transportation and the scenic falls were threatened by a proposed hydroelectric project.