Fundraising Campaign Update: The campaign continued through October in a positive direction with the regional commissions working to secure pledges and key grant applications being drafted and submitted. A fundraising cultivation event was held at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings on October 2nd. Approximately 100 prospective contributors attended and heard timely comments by Tom Scott, the Campaign Chair, and by Lyle Knight, the leader of the local fundraising team. An annual appeal letter is currently being finalized and will be sent to a large database of prospects by mid-November. Persons interested in making a year-end contribution are encouraged to contact the Legacy Campaign office anytime at 406-457-9080.
On October 7th I was interviewed by the Missoula Independent newspaper regarding the overall Bicentennial planning in Montana.
Montana’s 5th Annual Lewis & Clark conference was held at Lewistown’s Yogo Inn on October 2nd and 3rd. Highlights of this year’s conference included a traditional Native American kick-off luncheon, an Indian/Lewis & Clark Honor Guard encampment at a community park on Thursday evening, a special presentation by Amy Mossett on Friday morning, and an entertaining performance of Manifest Scrutiny at Friday’s closing luncheon. Education and entertainment would sum up this year’s program. Meetings of the state Commission and regional commissions/ Tribal reps also were held.
On Wednesday, October 8th, I traveled to Sidney (MT) to address an annual meeting of the Disaster & Emergency Services representatives. This was an ongoing effort to encourage public safety entities to continue with emergency response discussions. NOTE: Also during the month I had numerous conversations with public safety personnel regarding the possibility and practicality of purchasing and/or of leasing short-waver radio transmitters as a way to transmit critical travel information during the Bicentennial. Remote river access points and high traffic areas for large events might benefit from this method of communication.
During October I worked with the State Library and the Office of Public Instruction to compile a mailing list to enable the distribution of the new Lewis & Clark Educators Resource Guide. Approximately 750 will be sent to public and school libraries by mid-November. This revised and expanded guide will also be accessible on the state Commission’s web site.
On the 10th I joined the Signature Event coordinators in a meeting with Betsy Baumgart and members of the Travel Montana staff to discuss existing and future marketing strategies for Montana’s two National Signature Events. Travel Montana is very committed to keeping Montana at the forefront of the traveling public’s awareness over the next three years. A follow-up meeting was set for November 17 to continue those planning discussions.
October 14, 2003 was a very significant day for me. My youngest daughter, Kristi Jo turned 21 years of age. No more teenagers!
On the 14th of October the Bicentennial Focus Team of the interagency MTRI group met in Helena. It was decided that an interpretive sign inventory was necessary to better gauge the effectiveness of the new statewide L&C signing strategy, and to get a handle on how many signs might be designed, fabricated and installed in the near future along Montana’s L&C Trail. It was also agreed to cooperatively present two more regional Interpretive Signing Workshops in an effort to offer technical assistance to those in need of help. The Focus Team also discussed options for how agencies could work with Montana Corps II host communities. No firm decisions were made in that regard, but it was clear that agencies want to assist to the best of their monetary and personnel limitations.
The November 2003 issue of “journal notes” was drafted, printed and mailed.
The Montana Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for parties interested in getting the new Lewis & Clark Directional Signs. These new signs will notify highway travelers of approaching L&C interpretive signage. Interested persons should call Jon Axline at: 406-444-6258.
LTC. Jon Jackson reported to me in October that $1 Million had been recently budgeted for the National Guard in FY’04. How much of that funding will find its way to Montana remains to be seen, but LTC. Jackson will submit a request to secure some funding to support local law enforcement for key L&C events in 2004 in Montana. It is hoped that similar funding at the national level will continue in 2005 and 2006.
The state Commission and the Montana Sheriff’s & Peace Officer’s Association were both un-successful in their quest for Congressional Appropriation funding in the current session of Congress. However we are already working to re-apply in January 2004 for consideration in the second half of the 108th Congress (for federal FY’05 funding).
A multiple-year event search was created and activated on the state Commission’s web site. Users can now search by “All Events”, and by “2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,” and/or by “Location.” However, we now need solid, confirmed event information to make this new feature beneficial to potential visitors. Plan ahead and then share your plans with the world! I will be working with Travel Montana to incorporate the same search function on their www.visitmt.com site.
I traveled to Louisville, KY and then to Clarksville, IN on October 23-26 to participate in COSA and National Council meetings, and to take in the second week of the Falls of the Ohio National Signature Event.
A National Council update was given (see Nat’l. Council Mtg. notes below)
Dick Williams offered a NPS update:
60,000 people had gone through Corps II prior to the Falls Signature Event
Jeff Olsen is the new PR person for Corps II (cell # is best way to make contact: 402-689-7431). I will follow-up with Jeff to request some promo material that communities could easily access.
NPS must be shown as a partner in CCS grant applications. Applications for 2004 program must be filed electronically, AND be sent via hard copy by 1/15/04 deadline. All Signature Events must compete with other applications; no pre-set amount is set-aside for ’04. The federal FY’04 budget is not yet approved, but the ‘04 CCS program is moving forward as it did in 2003 (funds may not be available until early summer).
Discovery Expedition of St. Charles
Much discussion about who to contact; contact state Commission office for names and phone numbers
Communities are encouraged to communicate early to coordinate re-enactors with local events
Tim Gore spoke of the successful Education Initiative that is a part of the Discovery Expedition. I have alerted the Montana Office of Public Instruction to this initiative, and will work to connect Montana teachers and Tim Gore possibly via an up link in the near future.
Federal Agency Partners (formally Federal MOU Group)
Michelle Dawson-Powell reported that 3 million of the new trail maps were printed and mostly distributed. The US Mint will include these maps as buyers purchase the L&C medallion coins starting in ’04.
Numerous federal agencies are very involved in Corps II programming and want to be involved trail wide in various ways.
Traveling State Flags
It was agreed that each state that hosts a Signature Event would contribute their state flag to join others from the trail. Scott Mandrell (Capt. Lewis with the Discovery Expedition) will then raise each flag at subsequent signature events; all flags could then become a long-standing memorial to the Bicentennial at some yet unknown location.
National Council Meeting:
The National Ad Council’s publicity campaign was discussed at length
TV ads and print ads were shown. Much discussion centered on the images chosen for some “off-trail” attractions in the TV ads, and some less-than-accurate text in the print ads.
This new campaign is scheduled to hit the media outlets in mid-November; each state will be asked to be proactive in getting the spots to run in local markets
75,000 of the Nat’l. Council’s new Signature Event brochure were printed; plans call for revisions with more copies to be printed in 2005.
Amy Mossett, the new Tribal Involvement Coordinator for the Nat’l. Bicentennial Council said that Tribal Council Resolutions would be required to officially designate reps to COTA
The next meeting of COTA will be on January 18th in St. Louis
COTA wants to create an interactive electronic component for inclusion in Corps II. COTA is also planning to create its own brochure
Signature Event Report
A special meeting will be held on January 16, 2004 in St. Louis to review what has worked, and what hasn’t worked well in the first two Signature Events
The Missouri Historical Society traveling exhibit will have its grand opening on January 17th, also in St. Louis
COTA will meet in St. Louis on January 18th
COSA may try to schedule a meeting in this same time frame
It was announced that Corps II will not travel “off-trail” to larger communities and schools this coming winter as originally planned. Rather Corps II has scheduled some “review and regroup” time.
Patricia Jones (the Program Coordinator for Corps II) is very interested in meeting with communities well in advance. I will work to connect Patricia to the Montana host communities in January or February of ’04.
On October 27th Gail Brockbank, Rita and I met to review the just completed annual conference in Lewistown. We outlined some rather significant proposed changes that may be recommend to the Commission’s Conference Committee. Stay tuned. We will immediately let folks know if some of the proposed changed are accepted.
Good news for the Commission’s 2004 grant program. It appears likely (but not confirmed at this point) that the USFS may once again have some funds to invest in the state Commission’s project grant program in 2004. The proposed FY’04 federal budget must first be passed by Congress. Discussions are also promising that some additional funding in 2004 may come from the Qwest Foundation. The final amount of project grant funding will be determined at the state Commission meeting on February 10th.
And finally, I am pleased to convey that in late October Governor Judy Martz appointed Marcy Hamburg from Sidney to the state Commission. Marcy comes from a business development and chamber of commerce background and is very experienced with Eastern Montana and the Yellowstone River corridor. Congratulations, and welcome aboard Marcy!