On October 3rd and 4th I was in Livingston to address the Tourism Advisory Council. I first thanked the TAC for its on-going strong support of the Bicentennial, and then offered a snapshot of what everyone should expect in 2006. Following the TAC meeting I joined the meeting of the Working Group of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative. I gave a short Bicentennial Update to this group, and then listened as the Film Office Manager from Travel Montana offered an update on the new 26-member Film Commission that was approved by the 2005 state Legislature.
On October 5th I picked-up the sample of the bronze medallion mounted on a larger wooden base. This, together with the bronze medallions mounted in a frame were shown to the full Commission as options for our volunteer awards to be presented during the July, 2006 meeting.
I had a meeting with Reno Charette and Major Robinson on October 6th. Reno is the new Coordinator of Indian Affairs, and Major is in the Governor’s Economic Development Office. The meeting was very productive as both volunteered to work toward a successful bicentennial this coming year.
In late September I was approached by Scott Sproull with the Western Montana Bicentennial Commission about who was going to take the lead in hosting Corps II in Lincoln. I talked to members of the Lewis & Clark County Bicentennial planning group who said clearly that they have been planning to plan this venue in 2006. Unless Lincoln decides to not host Corps II at all this coming summer, the Lewis & Clark County Bicentennial Commission will take the lead.
On October 11th Rita and I drove to Big Timber with Doug Monger for the Fall meeting of the Bicentennial Commission. Our meeting was hosted in The Grand Hotel. Three main topics come to mind:
A review and then a vote on which communities would be entitled to more grant funding from the state Commission. It was voted on to approve additional funding for the Explore! the Big Sky ($10,000); Clark on the Yellowstone ($10,000); Discovery Expedition of St. Charles ($5,000); Lewis & Clark in the Rockies ($10,000); Lewis & Clark County ($5,000); Sidney ($2,500); and Miles City ($2,500).
A discussion of the awards to be given to volunteers by the state Commission at its last meeting in Billings (Rita gave a report, but following some discussion it was agreed to bring this topic up again during the February meeting in Miles City).
Many of the 2005 host communities gave updates on their Corps II experiences and/or other Lewis & Clark-related events (i.e. the Explore! the Big Sky National Signature Event, and the Sula PowWow).
In mid-October I called and visited with Rick Hays with Qwest regarding the option for additional funding from Qwest for programming in the National Park Service’s Corps II Tent of Many Voices. It was agreed that as time permits a request would be drafted and submitted to Qwest. Rick was very non-committal when asked about any Lewis & Clark funding available in their budget for 2006.
Also in mid-October I had a very interesting conversation with Ian Marquand, the commentator with KPAX-TV out of Missoula (Ian had prepared and narrated the short TV report on the Encountering the Bitterroot Salish PowWow in mid-September). Ian is now planning a longer version of that documentary that will cover more of Montana. I have a note in my day-timer to call Ian again on Monday, November 14th to see what he has been able to produce. Once shown on TV, I can then order a copy of his video for our legacy files.
In visiting with Larry Epstein I was convinced to drive to Astoria, Oregon, to attend the meetings of COSA, and the National Council of the Bicentennial. These meetings will be on Thursday, November 10th. Of special interest will be the planning by the National Park Service for the Challenge Cost Share grant program, and the on-going planning for the Trail after the Bicentennial is over.
Following our meeting in Big Timber, I was bothered by the lack of a financial request for the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard out of Great Falls. I subsequently contacted Walt Walker and discussed their “need,” and suggested that he perhaps present a request for funding assistance at our February, 2006 meeting.
The National Park Service held two days of meeting in mid-October to let people know in advance what the Corps II program will require in 2006. The first of these meetings was in Missoula on October 17th at the BLM office; the second one-day meeting was held in downtown Billings (near the MTTA office) on October 19th. NOTE: While in the Billings area I went to Pompeys Pillar to see the new BLM Interpretive Center, now almost complete. The new center is beautiful with lots of windows to see different angles of the Pillar. The grand opening of the center will be held in conjunction with the Clark on the Yellowstone National Signature Event. Kudos to Dick Kodeski who stayed the course, and witnessed the building become a reality. Congrats Dick!
On October 19th following the Corps II ‘training meeting,’ I met with Robbie Carpenter and Melody Dobson, the co-coordinators for the Clark on the Yellowstone event. They briefed me on their fundraising efforts, and also mentioned that their event will not get all the financial support that the Explore! event received. They are now short of funds that they can invest in marketing. A meeting is now set with Travel Montana staff on Thursday, November 3rd to discuss in more detail.
I talked this month with George Donnelly about the status of funding for 2006 to allow the Montana National Guard to travel as they did this past summer providing set-up and strike of the Corps II tent and security. He was very involved in getting a request written and submitted to Congress; the bill is currently in the House/Senate Joint Committee. So far things look promising….
Two Montana communities wanted to make monetary donations to the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, that being Wolf Point and Dillon. After receiving some faulty address information, I called and got the correct mailing address for DESC president Larry McClain. The correct address is: 1050 Riverside Drive, St. Charles, MO 63301.
At the end of October I reluctantly put my Datsun sports car into storage. How long until Spring??
On October 24th I attended a planning meeting for the Blackfeet Significant Event that will take place from July 26 to July 29th of 2006. We discussed having an opening ceremony, a buffalo feed, a Blackfeet pictorial display, traditional games, tours of the fight site, and maybe two re-enactments. The area where the events are scheduled is in a very nice campground adjacent to Cut Bank Creek, and near where the Camp Disappointment interpretive signs will be located just off of Hwy. 444.
I very willingly wrote a short letter to Mary Jane Charlo expressing that the Sula PowWow was successful, and complete. This was a last requirement of their COTA grant.
After the October 11th Commission meeting, I contacted Tom Cook with a request for something to be printed and distributed to say that the Bicentennial had one more year to go. After some reflection, I decided that perhaps a press release outlining the key events to be presented in 2006 would be appropriate (we also wanted to get the message out to not have folks discontinue their Lewis & Clark plates at this time!). I will schedule a rather immediate release date with Tom.
And, late in October I talked to Mark Sherouse about monies from the Montana Committee for the Humanities being available in 2006. I sent a list of the Corps II host communities, and key contact folks with the Blackfeet Event to Mark’s attention. He will send a “heads-up” letter to these groups in the very near future.