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Director's Report May, 2004
- On April 30th I was invited to participate in a ground-breaking ceremony for the new interpretive signage project at Devil’s Elbow just North of Helena adjacent to the Missouri River. The Lewis & Clark County Bicentennial Commission in partnership with the BLM, the state Commission, and other key agencies is creating a great legacy project that includes a “Two Camp” vista house, walking trail and stand-alone signage to tell the story of the Expedition through the Prickly Pear Valley.
- I’ve been invited to be a tour guide on a June 15th train ride from Billings to and from Pompeys Pillar. The BNSF proposed this joint fundraising project for the Montana Historical Society and the Clark on the Yellowstone Bicentennial Commission. Snacks and refreshments will be available, and a very interesting tour is planned upon arrival at Pompeys Pillar. For ticketing information for this fun and educational train ride, please call 406-256-6052, or 1-877-321-2074.
- In early May the Commission and Montana Historical Society received a favorable Performance Audit review by the Legislative Auditors Division regarding the new Senate Art Legacy Project. A project report/update will be shared in the June 17th Commission meeting in Livingston; however, I can say the project continues on schedule with sales of the miniature bronzes slated to move into full gear in the near future when the smaller version clay model is completed and approved.
- As is usually the case, the month immediately prior to the Spring Commission meeting is hectic; this year is no exception. The proposed FY’05 budget is nearing completion, as is the annual Tasks Completed and Tasks to Complete reports. This upcoming meeting at the Travelodge in Livingston will feature a joint Regional Commission/Tribal meeting with the state Commission during a working (no-host) lunch from 11:00 to 1:00 on June 17th. The agenda is available on-line: http://www.montanalewisandclark.org/comission/minutesandagendas/.
- Work was also in high gear this month planning for the first annual (and maybe only) Performing Arts Showcase to be held in Livingston, MT on June 17-18. We now have a full roster of performers and presenters (21), plus a strong nucleus of people registered to watch the showcase talent, and hopefully to book performances for future venues around the state. We have also been ironing out numerous logistic and publicity details. The cost to register to watch the showcase is $45.00 payable at the door. The host site is the Livingston Christian Center, 1400 Mount Baldy Drive.
- On May 6th I signed a BLM grant application in an effort to secure some much needed funding for Corps II host communities. If successful in the request the state Commission would pass the monies on to select host community sites. Thanks in advance, BLM!
- The new national Lewis & Clark brochure is now printed and available from the National Bicentennial Council. This brochure will highlight all of the National Signature Events, Corps II information and contact information for each trail state. I have ordered a modest supply for distribution to Montana’s visitor centers and agencies.
- As a follow-up to a March 15th meeting of the state Commission’s Executive Committee I prepared a brief informational packet to include “speaking points” for that committee’s reference in contacting Montana’s gubernatorial candidates. A more detailed report of this recent conference call meeting will be offered in the Commission’s June 17th meeting.
- I was a part of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI) Director’s meeting with Governor Martz on Friday, March 7th to discuss tourism-related challenges and opportunities that state and federal agencies currently face. Some new Focus Teams were discussed to address issues of common concern.
- Golfing Update: Sometime last summer I think I reported that I proudly (well maybe not proudly) won last place in a team golf tournament. With this Director’s Report I am truly proud to announce that I was a member of the winning golf team at a local Cinco de Mayo tournament on May 8th! A golfing career after Lewis & Clark? Maybe, but I don’t think so!
- At the invitation of Tony Incashola and Mary Jane Charlo, I traveled to St. Ignatius on May 10th to meet with the Salish and Kootenai Tribal Elders regarding the idea of staging a commemorative event in the Ross’s Hole area in August, 2005 to coincide with the 200-year observance of the Expedition’s meeting with the Salish Indians. One option I proposed was an event to include the dedication of a yet-to-be-designed monument or memorial to signify that the area known today as Ross’s Hole was the traditional homeland of the Salish in 1805. A June 1st meeting near Sula, MT is scheduled with the Salish, the Montana Department of Transportation, myself and members of the Western Montana Regional Commission to discuss options further.
* While in the St. Ignatius/Polson area I met with Wyman McDonald and we toured the Kwa Tuq Nuk Resort as a possible site for the Commission’s October meeting. A final site location for the Fall meeting will be made in June 17th Commission meeting.
- The Grants Committee met via conference call on May 11th to review the input received from regional commissions and state Commissioners. After a lengthy discussion a recommendation for funding priorities for 2005 and 2006 was crafted for presentation to the full Commission on June 17th. An announcement will be forthcoming following full Commission review and action on that recommendation.
- I traveled to Great Falls on May 12th to present to the annual Governor’s Conference on Aging. The attendance was light for my session (maybe everyone has heard me speak already??), but interest was high for those who did attend.
- May 14th, Great Falls joined 10 other trail states to present official “First Day of Issue” ceremonies for three new Lewis & Clark postage stamps. Congrats to the USPS for taking the lead in the overall event coordination, and to the L&C Interpretive Center for hosting the event. Some 1,200+ attended the outdoor event, almost 800 of which were school age kids from the Great Falls area. Four Blackfeet students gave the opening and welcoming prayer in their native language. The sun shone bright, and it was a great day on the banks of the upper Missouri River in Montana!
- I presented to 35+ third graders at the Rossiter School in Helena on May 17th. Those are sharp, and very inquisitive young minds! I think really the teacher just wanted a break as the kids were probably driving her nuts as the school year winds to an end?
- Hal Stearns and I met with two key representatives with the Office of Public Instruction on Wednesday, May 19th. Hal outlined an interesting list of possible “next projects” for the Commission’s Education Committee and OPI to undertake. Some pretty exciting projects may be forthcoming shortly. A very good meeting.
- Diligence finally paid off as we in late May got an approval from First Interstate Bank to distribute license plate flyers to all their Montana bank branches. Rita has already drafted a letter to be sent with a display rack and a supply of inserts. We have also placed small reminder ads in the two Lewis & Clark insert publications that the Great Falls Tribune produced this Spring.
- On May 24th Rita, Sara Groves and I met with Lyle Knight with First Interstate Bank, and Susan Barrows with the Pompeys Pillar Association to review Legacy Campaign files and to update general correspondence with the Billings area fundraising team.
- Rita just reminded me that May 23rd marked the 4th anniversary of her coming to work for the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission! A good move I would say! Thanks Rita!!
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