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Director's Report April 2006

  • This month started (and ended) with discussions with the Great Falls Tribune regarding their completion of the 2006 “Placemat Maps” of Lewis & Clark. The issue was the timing of the anticipated completion date; they were initially promised in time for public display and distribution at the state Travel & Tourism Conference held in Great Falls on April 10-11. They did deliver only a few the day of the conference for distribution at the display set-up by the state Commission. The Tribune will now distribute the maps around the state to the identified Visitor Information Centers.

  • I have been working with SeaReach and Steve Kubick to iron out various misunderstandings on the signs that SeaReach fabricated at Steve’s request (these are the two signs for Ryan Dam). Finally, I think SeaReach will send an invoice to Steve allowing him to complete this old allocation of funding from PPL Montana. The final report will include signage at Tower Rock, Ryan Dam, and at Carter and on Loma Hill near Fort Benton.

  • I have been in contact with the event planners in Missoula regarding their progress. I have also made contact with the Southgate Mall and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for a place to display the Montana Senate Bronze Art “maquette.” I will attend a May 3rd meeting of this planning group. Their team is making good progress with limited time left before their kick-off on June 21st.

  • A meeting of key state and federal agency “Lewis & Clark Partners” is now scheduled for 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, May 17th. Suzanne Gucciardo, with the National Park Service, will lead this meeting. Those agencies that have committed to attend are the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, the State Parks Division, and a representative of the Trail Heritage Foundation (I will attend to represent the state Commission). The agenda will include the identification of missing partners, and the discussion at some length the inventorying of assets that the NPS will eventually request. Hopefully a local (state) lead agency will step forward to be the “Trail Steward” following the Bicentennial.

  • Senate Bronze Art Project Report:
    NOTE: As of the preparation of this Director’s Report, 37 of the maquettes have been sold, and 623 of the 1,000 bronze medallions (the silver medallions are already sold out).
    • The special promotional packets were mailed to the state Commissioners and to the Montana Historical Society Board of Trustees with a request that they work to sell either maquettes or medallions.
    • On April 19th I made a presentation to the Montana Society of Association Executives.
    • While in Billings earlier this month I made a follow-up contacts with the Manager of the Billings Holiday Inn Grand, and with Crowley Law Firm, and with First Interstate Bank. I also made a presentation to the Downtown Rotary Club.
    • I have also pursued various contacts in Bozeman, Great Falls and Missoula for making a sales presentation (Missoula responded with an invitation to attend the Business After Hours on May 2nd).
    • On March 17th I made a presentation to the Lewis & Clark County Republican Women at the Montana Club.
    • On March 20th I attended the regularly scheduled meeting of the Montana Historical Society Board of Trustees. Together we discussed the program and status of the casting of the large bronze piece.

  • The Lewis & Clark in Blackfeet Country event recently changed venues. It will now be held from July 26-29, 2006 at the Blackfeet Nation’s Mini Arbor, near the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning. This change will facilitate more participation by the Blackfeet. This event had previously been set for Meriwether Campground Meadows located about half way from Browning to Cut Bank. Tours of Camp Disappointment, and The Fight Site will be now be staged from Browning.

  • During April I (with input from Rita) began discussing the preparation and presentation of a PowerPoint/DVD for the July 21st Commission meeting in Billings. This would be an audio/visual summary of the projects and programs undertaken by the state Commission since its inception. A memo has been sent to the Executive Committee of the state Commission for their comment.

  • The state Travel & Tourism Conference was held at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls on April 10-11. Rita and I both attended, and staffed a booth in the vendor area. We had a large 4’x 6’ map of the Trail hung on display, and distributed the new Lewis & Clark placemat map. I facilitated a breakout session on the bigger 2006 L&C events to be held in Montana. George Heavy Runner talked about the Lewis & Clark in Blackfeet Country; Dick Kodeski talked about the Clark on the Yellowstone Signature Event; and Mary Jane Charlo and Barb Neilan discussed the Lewis & Clark in the Rockies Bicentennial Festival. A delicious BBQ highlighted Monday night’s reception at the CMR Museum. Following the conference, Rita and I toured the Ulm Pishkun State Park en-route back to Helena.

  • I’m not sure that I had earlier reported that at the request of the state Commission I made contact with the Montana Department of Transportation to investigate their potential interest in holding some “post-bicentennial” funding for future grant distribution. This would in effect be a “legacy account” whereby Lewis & Clark interests could apply for some funding 5-10-15 years down the road to upgrade and/or to replace some Lewis & Clark signage. This month I learned that Jon Swartz is the new contact at MDT for this purpose. Jon and I have a meeting set for May 10th to pursue this idea. This is of course with the assumption that the state Commission will have some future funding available for later distribution. The “legacy account” component is now being weighed between an earlier expression of interest of the FW&P Division, and the MDT.

  • On April 25th I met with George Donnelly (National Guard Bureau) and Brian Deckert (Montana National Guard) to confirm plans for the 2006 schedule of the Guard providing security for the NPS’s Corps II program. Jim Kelly (Montana National Guard) will also be a part of the 2006 effort but was away at training for this meeting. Following this meeting I sent an updated email to the ’06 Corps II host sites to give current contact information for Brian and Jim. The Guard is planning to provide the same level of security for Corps II, as well as provide a large tent to host veterans and the general public. The Guard will also conduct Salute to Veterans ceremonies as they did in 2005.

  • On April 25 I participated in a meeting with the Directors of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI) interagency coalition. I spoke on the Lewis & Clark events planned for 2006, and on the Senate Bronze Art Project.

  • The 2006 Challenge Cost Share Grant recipients were announced by the National Park Service earlier this month. This information has been uploaded onto our web site under the “Funding” breakout section, or you can request information directly from our office by calling 443-2109.

  • This month Rita initiated the process of printing an archival copy of the Commission’s web page. To date, 1,500 pages have been printed which hopefully accounts for about two-thirds of the information on the site. This copy will be filed in the Archives at the Montana Historical Society along with the remainder of the Commission’s files at the end of the year.



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