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Director's Report July, 2002
Fundraising Program Update: Work continued on the development of the Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign. Funding Objectives of the Legacy Partners were clarified and refined, and campaign materials were designed. The statewide leadership team was enhanced as new Steering Committee members were confirmed. A press release was issued in mid-July announcing the creation of the campaign, and naming the partners (Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission, Pompeys Pillar Historical Association, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Foundation, Montana Historical Society and the Travelers’ Rest Preservation and Heritage Association). In addition the creation of a comprehensive database of prospective campaign funders was initiated.
Publicity: I was interviewed for two statewide newspapers this month. In early July I spoke to the Billings Gazette regarding plans being made along the Yellowstone River corridor. In mid-July I visited with the Great Falls Tribune regarding the popularity of the recent Times Magazine article featuring Lewis & Clark (was a GREAT article if you missed it!).
Lewis & Clark Visits: I made visits this month to four Lewis & Clark events. On the 20th (although I missed the dancing), I stopped by the Indian and Honor Guard Encampment at the Devil’s Elbow area on the banks of the Missouri River 15 miles East of Helena. On the 27th I spoke at the dedication of the Crimson Bluffs (the Crimson Bluffs chapter, the BLM and others were successful in getting this pristine 50 acre area into public ownership), and I briefly attended the Weekend of Discovery in Three Forks. To cap off a day of Lewis & Clark touring on the 27th, I attended the Lewis & Clark play at the new outdoor theatre near Whitehall. Very educational, and entertaining events!
Support Letters Written: This month I drafted, on behalf of the state Commission, support letters for the community of Three Forks’ efforts to create a Sacajawea statue; for the Lewis & Clark Sidewalk being developed in the new Great Northern Town Center in Helena; and, for the proposed enhancements at the Missouri Headwaters State Park.
NOTE: If you would like further information regarding the proposed enhancements at the Missouri Headwaters State Park, and/or would like to offer your input, contact the state Commission office, or the FW&P office in Bozeman (Ray Heagney, Park Manager, at 406-994-6934). Responses to the just-completed EA are being solicited.
- On July 8th I traveled to Great Falls to address the monthly meeting of the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard. While at the meeting, I confirmed that the Honor Guard would participate in “Montana’s Lewis & Clark Day” at the State Capitol on January 18, 2003 (the day of the national kick-off of the Bicentennial). I also discussed some preliminary plans for a Spring 2005 event to commemorate the Expedition’s entering Montana from North Dakota.
- I made a Bicentennial presentation/update to the Conservation & Education Division of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Ennis, MT on July 10th.
- Throughout July Rita and I answered questions and provided documentation as requested by the State Auditing Division. So far, so good.
- Also throughout July, Rita and I worked with Gail Brockbank to plan the details of Montana’s Fourth Annual Lewis & Clark Conference. This year’s conference theme is “Enhancing Our Future by Honoring Our Past”. The conference will be in Bozeman on Thursday and Friday, October 3rd & 4th. If you haven’t received a conference packet by mid August, please contact our state office.
- On July 15th I participated in the dedication of the new Lewis & Clark Interpretive Signs located on the east side of the Bozeman Pass on I-90. The Great Bend of the Yellowstone Regional Commission is to be commended on designing, fabricating and installing a great set of signs. If interested, our office can forward electronic images of these signs.
- The Bicentennial Focus Team of the interagency Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI), met in Helena on Wednesday, July 17th to review progress and to see what yet needs to be accomplished. The group’s new “stewardship brochure” was reviewed and refined. This new brochure will relay critical messages to trail travelers (i.e. know & respect private land; plan ahead; tread lightly; be aware of invasive species & noxious weeds, etc.). The brochure should be ready for statewide distribution by early Fall. Having been awarded some 2002 Challenge Cost Share funds, the Focus Team then discussed which trail corridor would be next selected to implement the lessons learned in the Blackfoot Corridor Interpretive Sign Project now nearing completion. The Yellowstone River Corridor was tentatively selected as numerous groups are now planning new signing. The Focus Team will assist this corridor in coordinating messages, etc. from one community to the next utilizing the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Sign Strategy.
- On July 23rd I participated in a meeting of the Undaunted Stewardship Program. This program is a partnership effort involving Montana State University, Bureau of Land Management and the Montana Stockgrowers Association, and is focused on assisting ranchers interested in preserving and/or restoring lands along the Lewis & Trail. I represent the state Commission on an Advisory Committee. The state Commission will facilitate partnerships with new interpretive signs to be created, and with the establishing new river access in targeted areas.
- And finally, on July 31st I traveled to the Rocky Boy Reservation to participate in their Economic Summit. This summit was focused on how their tribe might be able to participate in the upcoming Bicentennial, and to a larger extent, tourism in general. Interest was keen, and some good ideas surfaced.
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