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Director's Report May 2006

  • May started off with a phone call from Sammye Meadows with the Circle of Tribal Advisors (COTA) asking about the status of the Blackfeet event (COTA had co-funded the Lewis & Clark in Blackfeet Country event with the state Commission). It was decided by George Heavy Runner, a Planner with the Blackfeet Tribe, to move that event into Browning (the event dates are not changed). This will facilitate more Tribal involvement.

  • The slide show DVD project is moving ahead as planned with a rough cut of the narration now recorded and the images and background music identified for the 12-minute show. This DVD will capture the major projects undertaken by the state Commission since the inception of the state Commission back in 1998. The show will be shown during our July 21st Commission meeting in Billings.

  • On May 2nd I traveled to Missoula to participate in the ďBusiness After HoursĒ and to show the Senate Art Bronze to prospective buyers. This venue proved to be less than great, as no buyers came forward. While in Missoula I attended the weekly meeting of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Festivalís planning group. Funding was reviewed as were proposed event venues. Following the meeting I went to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to inspect for possible display of the Senate Art Bronze during the Bicentennial Festival.

  • During May I called and visited twice with Bryan Crawford with the Bonneville Power Administration. The BPA had contributed some funding back in the early days the Commissionís grants program; part of which was distributed to the Crow Tribe (this is a grant that the Crow then decided to give back to the state Commission as they never completed the project). The question was then posed to the MHS staff about reusing the monies on other grants. The BPA was given the option of receiving the funding back, and they declined. A letter verifying the BPA decision was then written and sent to the state Commission confirming the monies can now be reissued for CORPS II community support.

  • A Legal Opinion was requested and received from the Legislative Services regarding how the Lewis & Clark license plate revenue is viewed by the state of Montana. That decision says that this revenue is private/outside funds. Given this Legal Opinion the state Commission will now have various options for its use as the Commissionís tenure winds down in 2006.

  • Ron Clark sent a memo to me on May 9th requesting responses to various questions/concerns covering numerous topics. The responses will be drafted and sent to him by July 15, 2006.

  • On May 15th I met with Jon Swartz with the MDT. Jon is now handling the proposed community grants program that the state Commission envisions leaving after its sunset. Iíve asked Jon to review some revised Grant Guidelines; the Commissionís Grants Committee will then review and concur on the programís new guidelines.

    Publicity Updtate:

    • On May 11th I was interviewed by Bill Estep, a writer for Courier Magazine. This magazine is the official publication for members of the National Tour Association, the nationís premier group tour association. Bill was asking questions about the Bicentennial for a future publication.

    • On May 24th I was interviewed by Bob Stuckman with the Missoulian. Bobís angle was to again drag-up the less the stellar attendance at the Great Falls event, and to make some comparison to the upcoming Bicentennial Festival in the Missoula area. For the record, I did NOT say that I went from being excited to being bored when planning the 2006 schedule!! Scott Sproull and Melody Dobson also were quoted in this article.

  • Steve Kubick reports that he is now within days of being able to finally close-out his grant for signs in the Upper Missouri Region. He anticipates having his report (and the remittance of unspent funds) to the state Commission within the next week. It remains unknown if those funds will be then re-granted to the Little Shell tribe for the installation of airport signs at the Great Falls International Airport.

  • KTVQ finally reported during May that their station did not make a copy of the Face the State segment that Hal Stearns and I taped in late April. We have however, talked to Ian Marquand and he will tape a new Face the State segment for showing the last Monday of June. His show will feature many of the Lewis & Clark event organizers scheduling events for 2006.

  • On May 16th there was a telephone conference call with Bud Clark, Bryant Boswell and agency partners who are located en-route on their planned return through Montana in 2006. So far it appears that this return trip is coming together. Bud will travel south through the Bitterroot Valley to Dillon, and then along the Beaverhead and Jefferson Rivers. Bryant will head North to re-enact Lewisí return over the Lewis & Clark Pass en-route to the Great Falls area.

  • On May 17th I met with Suzanne Gucciardo with the National Park Service, and agency partners (the USFS, BLM, FW& P and the Trail Heritage Foundation) in Montana to discuss ďlife after the bicentennialĒ. After some discussion it was decided to ask the MTRI group to take on the task of inventorying the Trail to determine an ďAsset InventoryĒ. I just didnít think this type of survey of assets was within the scope of our state Commission; this seemed to speak more about the longer-term health of the Trail.

  • Corps II in Sidney: This was a last minute situation that almost lost Sidney one of its days with Corps II, as the conclusion of the Richland County Fair overlaps with Corps IIís set-up time. However, it now appears there can be compromise as the set-up can start in Sidney around 9:30 - 10:00 AM on August 6th in anticipation of Corpsí opening on August 8th.

  • In late May I sent a memo to the state Commissionís Grants Committee requesting them to review and then to select the entity to host the Commissionís grants program after 12/06. The Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, the Parks Division of Fish, Wildlife & Parks Department and the Montana Department of Transportation have expressed interest in hosting this program after the Bicentennial. This committee will also review the revised Grants Program Guidelines for grants after 2006 in the coming weeks.

  • I have made plans to make one final appearance in front of the Tourism Advisory Council on Monday, June 5th when the TAC meets in Missoula. I specifically want to acknowledge the funding the state Commission has received from Travel Montana over the past number of years.



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