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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
I. Call to Order
Montana Historical Society
February 11, 2003
Chairman Jack Lepley called the meeting to order at 8:03 a.m., welcomed Wyman McDonald, the newest member of the Commission. He then called for introductions.
Commissioners attending were: Jack Lepley chair, Betsy Baumgart, Darrell Kipp, Wyman McDonald, Darrell Martin, Arnie Olsen, Homer Staves, and Betty Stone. Staff included Clint Blackwood, Rita Cortright and Amy Baird. Commissioners unable to attend were: Kathy Doeden, Doug Monger and Hal Stearns.
Guests included: Craig Rockwell, Joni Stewart, John Maatta, Cameron Clark, Peggy Bourne, Jane Weber, Stephen Kubick, Ron Clark, Aron Strange, Marilyn Strange, Walt Marten, Sandra Cahill, Ken Sodeberg, Sgt. Joshua Clement, Patty Goodrich, Lois Roby, Roscoe Montgomery, Amy Teegarden, Scott Bell, Dick Alberts, Mary England, Cheryl Hutchinson, George Heavy Runner, Richard Hopkins, Jim Wilke, Betsy Allen, Terri Purcell and Rick Herrera.
III. Approval of October 2-3, 2002, Meeting Minutes
Mr. Lepley called for additions or corrections to the October 2-3, 2002, meeting minutes. Mr. Olsen made a motion to approve the minutes as mailed. Mr. Staves seconded and the motion carried.
XII. Public Input Time
Mr. Lepley announced a revision in the order of the agenda and called for public input. Hearing none, he said time would again be allotted at the end of the meeting.
IV. Director's Report
Mr. Blackwood said Hal Stearns sent his regards and was unable to attend due to a conflicting speaking engagement; Kathy Doeden was absent due to winter road conditions; Betsy Baumgart would be in and out of today’s meeting due to Legislative hearings; and Doug Monger was absent due to Legislative hearings. He reminded people that refreshments were not allowed in the meeting room; however refreshments were available in the Lobby. Lois Roby provided a cake in honor of Jean Baptiste’s birthday. He thanked the Montana Historical Society for the use of the meeting room.
NPS Challenge Cost Share Program
Mr. Blackwood said the Commission applied to the National Park Service 2003 Challenge Cost Share Grant Program for two grants: $10,000 for the Annual Fall Conference; and $45,580 for Corridor Signing Implementation in partnership with the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative. He said in the last couple of years work has progressed on the Blackfoot Corridor Sign Project, and the current grant covers work on the Yellowstone Corridor. The 2003 application for interpretive signage includes work with five regional commissions; Northeastern Plains, Missouri Breaks, Southwest Montana, and Western Montana regional commissions and the Crimson Bluffs Chapter.
Congressional Appropriations Update
Mr. Blackwood reported that the 2003 appropriations requests he submitted for the regrant program, interpretive signage and public safety planning were not funded. However, activity was underway for the 108th Congress for fiscal year 2004, and a request was submitted for $1 million of HUD funds for the regrant program in partnerships with the Montana Economic Development Association. Mr. Blackwood said he had a call in to Representative Rehberg’s office to see if he was willing to resubmit a request for $500,000 for interpretive signage. The third request was for $1 million for public safety planning and equipment, in partnership with the Montana Sheriffs’ and Peace Officers’ Association. He said previous efforts to move public safety forward had been somewhat challenging and the state Commission had gone as far as realistically possible in bringing the issue to light. People involved in public safety will have to take the lead with the Commission’s support. He noted that the National Guard was more pro-active and responsive to Bicentennial involvement in Montana and said General Pendergast was recently named Chairman of the General Officer’s Steering Committee for the National Guard Bureau in Washington, DC, for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission.
Memorial Plaque for Stephen Ambrose
Mr. Blackwood said Keith Petersen with the Idaho Bicentennial Committee approached him recently to ask if the Montana Bicentennial Commission would be interested in partnering with them to place a small, bronze bas relief plaque honoring Stephen Ambrose either on or adjacent to the new Lolo Visitor Center. The Center is open and will be officially dedicated in June 2003. Mr. Peterson anticipated the project would cost $1,000 total, and asked if the two state commissions would jointly sponsor the plaque. The item was deferred until the budget discussion had taken place.
Lewis & Clark Marker Signs
Mr. Blackwood said he was finally able to announce that the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has okayed the creation of Lewis & Clark marker signs for the new interpretive signage that was being created statewide. The MDT sign committee voted on the markers, and Dave Galt, Director of MDT, provided his approval for the placement and funding of markers for L&C interpretive markers that are on or immediately adjacent to State of Montana rights-of-way. There currently are ‘historical marker ahead’ signs, and the ‘Lewis & Clark marker ahead’ signs would be the same design, and include the three-figures silhouette. MDT also agreed to review the existing historical markers and those predominately Lewis & Clark will come under this new program.
Mike Oliver’s New Position
Mr. Blackwood announced that Mike Oliver retired from his position as a congressional liaison for Lewis & Clark caucuses and recently assumed the position of governmental affairs liaison with Governor Martz’ Office. Mr. Blackwood publicly thanked Mike Oliver for the great job he did as liaison to the L&C caucuses. Craig “Rocky” Rockwell was introduced as the Lewis & Clark caucus liaison for this area. He also reported that Tom Fulton, Department of Interior, is the new caucus liaison in Washington, DC.
Circle of State Advisor’s (COSA) Meeting at Monticello
Mr. Blackwood reported that COSA met at the Monticello library where they had a presentation by the St. Charles Re-enactors Group from St. Charles, Missouri. The Group has plans for a river re-enactment and Education Initiative, and intends to travel virtually the entire Trail over the next 3 ˝ years. Scott Mandrell, a member of the Montana Guard, plans to leave Washington, DC this spring, on horseback, to begin traveling the Trail. The Group plans to utilize a keelboat and pirogues, and be as historically accurate as possible with regard to Trail anniversary dates. Mr. Blackwood said the Education Committee’s report would further address concerns with the St. Charles Group’s Education Initiative and how its plans potentially fit into plans under way in Montana, especially with regard Great Falls’ Signature Event. Mr. Blackwood said the St. Charles Group was not officially sanctioned by the National Council, even though they were attempting to portray that status.
Mr. Blackwood spoke about the closing reception held on January 18th, where Rob Quist and Jack Gladstone from Montana were the featured performers. He referred to the 8x10 foot trail states banner that was displayed at the reception depicting the entire trail, including all 15 Signature Events. The banner’s image was based off of Montana Magazine’s map and will be displayed at venues along the Trail. Posters depicting this same image might be produced in the future. Mr. Blackwood thanked Ron Clark for his donation that served as Montana’s contribution to the reception.
Mr. Blackwood reported on the National Council’s brief update at Monticello. Robert Archibald, director of the Missouri Historical Society, is serving as president of the National Council, and Karen Goering, his executive assistant, is the interim director of the National Council. The Council plans to issue two brochures this summer, a general brochure on the Bicentennial and the council, and a brochure on the 15 Signature Events. He reported that the National Council has a $2 million foundation grant in hand to fund their key priorities that were Indian involvement, Corps II, Signature Events, and Trail Stewardship; however, fund distribution has not been determined. The $168 million Ad Council Campaign should be on the air starting September 2003 and run for three years.
Mr. Blackwood said the American Congress on Surveying (ACSM) reported on their plan to place official 12-inch geographical markers at each of the Signature Event sites across the country. ACSM will contact with Signature Event planners and he asked people to consider where they would like their markers located. Additionally, ACSM would be willing to provide official 4” markers in communities, not necessarily at historic sites, to mark bicentennial events.
The National Park Service reported at Monticello that they could not confirm funding for the 2003 Challenge Cost Share Program because of the continuing resolution. The requested funding level was $5 million. Mr. Blackwood reported that he was favorably impressed with the debut of Corps II at Monticello. The Tent of Many Voices was state-of-the-art, with heating and air conditioning and a presentation stage. He did not expect the size of the footprint to change in the future, noting that additional funding would probably be used to enhance programming. Darrell Martin said there was a window of opportunity to contact Gerard Baker regarding changes in the Native American audio content. Patricia Jones has been hired as the Corps II interpretive specialist, replacing Scott Eckberg. Also, Jeff Olsen, who was with the Trail Heritage Foundation, has taken a public relations position with Corps II. Bob Reynolds was named as the Lewis & Clark facilitator for the Department of Interior. He passed around a photo album containing prints from Monticello and the state Capitol kick-off events and an order form for those who wanted to request reprints. He said between 40-50 people traveled from Montana to attend the national kickoff. Mr. Blackwood reported on his brief conversation with Carol McBryant regarding her plan to confirm the 2005 Corps II schedule by April, and the 2006 schedule by May. She mailed a new information packet this past week and Mr. Blackwood asked representatives of the 19 tentative locations in Montana to pick up their packets from Ms. Cortright; the remaining copies would be mailed following the meeting. Ms. McBryant planned to mail confirmation letters by this summer with the caveat that nothing was guaranteed because of federal funding. Programming for the Tent of Many Voices would primarily fall back on local communities and he urged local planners to begin thinking of events, speakers and entertainment.
A. Budget Review
Mr. Blackwood referenced the budget spreadsheet and said by the end of the day a motion was needed on how much money to allocate for O&P and Project Grants. He began with a review of the spreadsheet that reflected the original FY 2003 budget on the left half and projected income and expenses on the right half. He reviewed the budgeted income items, noting that the $20,000 from the National Park Service was a pass-through grant for interpretive signs in the Yellowstone corridor. Under Grants, he noted that the $50,000 from Commerce for the Project Grants had been received. The Bonneville Power Administration’s pledge for $10,000 had been withdrawn for this year. Income from the Legacy Campaign was proposed at $300,000 and Mr. Blackwood said this revised budget did not project income from the Campaign. He said Sara Groves would be reporting later today on the Campaign’s status, and added that pledges were looking strong, but cash receipts were short of projections at this time. On the Expense side, Mr. Blackwood noted the lump sum amount projected for the Administrative Assistant position, which represented a retroactive grade and pay increase budgeted last June. He said Professional Fees were adjusted downward from the original budget, and expenses projected for the PR Campaign reflected salary expenses for Tom Cook, publicity coordinator for the Society. Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Olsen worked out an arrangement for 8 hours weekly of Mr. Cook’s time to assist with the development of a Public Relations campaign. The $20,000 originally budgeted to cover development of the electronic press for the PR Campaign was now covered by Travel Montana. Newsletter/Printing for March reflected the cost of layout and printing of a 4-color Legislative Update report. Under Fundraising Efforts, Mr. Blackwood explained that no further expenses were anticipated and this topic would be covered during Ms. Groves’ report. He reported that the $166,432 expended to date reflected a loan to the Legacy Campaign that would be repaid to the Commission at a future date. Under Program Grants, Mr. Blackwood said the $5,000 budgeted for payment in June to the Montana Sheriffs’ and Peace Officers’ Assn. for public safety planning was tentative, as they might not need the funding this fiscal year. The $5,000 budgeted for Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance for payment in June was also tentative, in that MTTA was in the process of hiring an executive director, and Mr. Blackwood informed them they first needed to show progress and effective use of Commission funding from this past year. He noted that $15,000 was projected for payment in June to Montana’s two signature events; however there was flexibility in providing the funds this fiscal year. Under NPS CCS Grants, the $20,000 reflected pass-through funding for the interpretive signs in the Yellowstone corridor. He briefly recapped the Administrative Overhead arrangement with the Montana Historical Society; 3% on the Commission’s base budget of $200,000, and 1.5% percent on grant funds. He said the projected amount of $454,876 originally projected for the 2003 Grants Program was not realistic at this point, due to lack of Legacy Campaign funds and license plate revenues. The revised total for the 2003 Grants Program was reported at $133,428; $36,298 for O&P Grants projected for payment in February and the balance of $97,130 for Project Grants.
F. Fundraising & Promotion Committee
a. Board of Investments Loan
Mr. Blackwood referred to the handout, “Board of Investment Report, February 11, 2003,” and reviewed the draws and payment schedule, noting that two annual payments were required, in February and August, with the next payment of $38,355 coming due February 15, 2003. Depending on when draws were made, either interest or a combination of interest and principal would be due. The balance owing after the February 2003 payment was $148,381.21 and the loan was amortized through August 15, 2005. The third payment comes due August 15, 2003 in the amount of $38,355.73 (P&I). Mr. Blackwood said the second BOI Loan of $200,000 was applied for and approved, but no funds have been drawn. In response to Mr. Olsen’s request at the October 2002 meeting, Mr. Blackwood prepared three proposed strategies for loan repayment as noted on the handout.
Ms. Stone asked for the total amount of funds invested in the Legacy Campaign, and Mr. Blackwood responded that about $180,000 had been loaned to date. He explained that in mid-November the Campaign had received sufficient pledges that the decision was made that rather than repay partners who had loaned funds to the Campaign, the first monies were kept by the Campaign to fund operations.
A. Budget Review - continued
Mr. Blackwood continued review of the budget, noting that under Commission Grants, the .5 FTE Grants Administrator position contracted through the Montana History Foundation reflected a lump sum payment in March of $9,750. This represents Amy Baird’s salary owed to the Foundation for the period of August 2002 to present, which the Commission had yet to be billed for. Mr. Olsen explained that the Legacy Campaign had been billed for this in error.
Mr. Blackwood noted the cash balance of $110,585 as of January 31, 2003, that included $50,000 from Travel Montana for 2003 Project Grants. He noted the Commission had not incurred Legacy Campaign expenses for the last couple of months. The monthly projected cash balances for February through June were reviewed, and he noted the cash balances reflected payment of the projected $36,298 for O&P grants and $97,130 for project grants. Mr. Blackwood said if projected license plate revenues remained consistent, the proposed grants awards could be made. Payment of $50,000 in Project Grants was projected for March, with $47,130 projected for payment in April, depending on cash flow. He noted again that Legacy Campaign funding was not built into the budget. At their last meeting the Commission gave him the okay to tap into the second BOI loan, up to $75,000, and he suggested they revisit that decision today. Mr. Blackwood also suggested discussing the possibility of tapping into the BOI loan for additional funds for the 2003 grants program. He suggested setting a cut-off date for grant awards, to say that whatever was available on or before May 1, 2003, would reflect the total award. Mr. Staves recommended delaying action on the budget until the remaining reports were presented.
Mr. Blackwood closed by noting that the Commission recently went through an audit in conjunction with the Montana Historical Society. The one item questioned was the Commission’s dealing with the National Park Service on Challenge Cost Share Grants. We have a cooperative agreement with the NPS to funnel funds through the Commission to a number of Montana grantees. Dick Williams with NPS instructed us by letter to provide the funds up front based on a letter of request from the grantee; the auditors felt this was in conflict with the NPS guidelines that stated funds were to be provided on a reimbursement basis. A second letter from Dick Williams satisfied the auditors and the item was removed from the audit report. Mr. Blackwood said the cooperative agreement arrangement would probably be continued for FY 2004.
Mr. Olsen asked for clarification on the budget’s bottom line, and how the Legacy Campaign expenses would be covered. Mr. Blackwood explained that if income and expenses held as projected, the ending cash balance for FY03 would be a positive $32,736, which excluded both income and expenses related to the Legacy Campaign. Mr. Blackwood said the Legacy Campaign had a commitment for fundraising services at $20,000 per month, and the question remained of how that would be paid. He noted three options: 1) the Campaign could pay its obligations with a loan against future pledges; 2) the Commission could allocate the remaining $32,736 cash balance toward the Campaign; 3) or the Commission could provide funds from the second BOI loan. Mr. Staves said there were too many unknowns to make a decision at this point in the meeting. He said they had the option of saying the Campaign had to stand on its own; they could go to the BOI loan for funds, or they could redirect the $47,130 from grants to the Campaign. Mr. Blackwood said they had a moral and legal obligation to grant the $50,000 from Commerce for Project Grants. Beyond that, he agreed it was totally a function of how comfortable the Commission was with projected income and expenses, which was why the grant funds were projected for award in March and April. He said this would allow time to determine what the license plate revenues were and what the Legacy Campaign was doing. Mr. Olsen said he wanted to make sure they were not being asked to make a decision on the total Grant Program before they knew where they stood on license plate sales and Legacy Campaign fundraising.
Mr. Kipp asked if the Grant Program had been evaluated in terms of its effectiveness. Mr. Blackwood said a Grants Program report was given at every Commission meeting that lists the status of the grants by year. He felt the Grants Program had been wildly successful, as projects have been accomplished that would not have been possible otherwise.
F. Fundraising & Promotion Committee
b. Legacy Campaign Update
Sara Groves, campaign coordinator for the Legacy Campaign, provided a packet for Commissioners that contained a recap of Campaign financial transactions as of February 10, 2003, and fundraising requests in process. She said the Campaign goal was $14 million; they have signed commitments for approximately $650,000. Cash received to date totaled $122,470, which represented 5% of the goal. Their cash balance in the bank was about $50,000 and would fund the campaign for the next 4-6 weeks. Ms. Groves said she and Clint Blackwood approached Tom Scott of First Interstate Bank, also Campaign chair, regarding a loan based on Campaign pledges and they were working on the loan details. Current expenses were averaging about $32,000 monthly, including the Bentz contract that runs through June. At that time expenses will drop to about $11,000 monthly. Ms. Groves reviewed the list of “Requests in Process” and addressed ongoing work with each contact, including the amount of various asks, pledges and donations received to date. She also recapped the percentages of participation of the Campaign Partners’ board members. She stressed the need to secure 100 percent participation on the part of the various board members, as this is requested information on many of the grant applications that are being submitted by the Campaign; if the level of participation was not 100 percent the application was not as attractive to the grantor. Mr. Blackwood added that it was not so much a function of the amount of donations, as it was the percent of board members who had pledged. Ms. Groves also referred to the confidential list of prospective individuals and corporations that were compiled by the Steering Committee at their recent meeting. A task list had been developed and the Steering Committee was working on approaching those contacts. Also included in the packet was a list of 13 top foundations that only deal in 6-figure award gifts; 11 had been contacted by the Legacy Campaign. She asked Commission members to review the enclosed lists and contact her if they felt they could be of assistance in making contacts, or if they could provide names of potential donors. Mr. Kipp said he was very impressed by the level of dedication and enthusiasm on the part of Steering Committee members. Ms. Groves noted that very few of them have a direct tie to organizations for which funds were being raised; however they are very committed to the project. Ms. Groves said the Steering Committee contacts were expected to raise about $3 million, and felt confident this goal would be attained or exceeded. She spoke next on the Campaign Divisions as outlined on the map in the handout, noting the state was divided generally in accordance with the state’s Tourism Regions, with leaders for each of the regions who were asked to focus on 5-figure gifts. Ms. Groves said the Campaign had compiled a list of approximately 4,000 names in their database from research, meetings, business and community contacts. Those names have been divided into the 5 regions and are being utilized by division leaders in making fundraising contacts. She expected that each of the 5 regions would raise an average of $2 million. Ms. Groves noted that newspaper articles on the Campaign were also included in the handout. She called for questions and Mr. Staves asked her to address Travel Montana’s involvement with the Campaign. Ms. Groves explained that Travel Montana has allowed them to develop a $500,000 corporate sponsorship package that is being shopped around to companies such as Daimler Chrysler, General Motors and Pepsi. Travel Montana agreed to feature corporate logos on their national Lewis & Clark print ads that appear in Smithsonian, American Heritage, National Geographic, and other arts and cultural magazines and also on Travel Montana’s television ads. Travel Montana has also agreed to develop a special “sponsor’s web page” on their main web page with links to corporate sponsors on Lewis & Clark promotions. Corporate logos will also be included on items such as Travel Montana’s Travel Planner, the summer and winter Calendar of Events, and the “Lewis & Clark in Montana” brochure. Visibility at all Lewis & Clark sites was also being offered. Ms. Groves noted that Stephen Ambrose had agreed to serve as honorary co-chair prior to this death, and his daughter Stephenie Ambrose-Tubbs has agreed to serve on the Steering Committee. Mr. Ambrose had agreed to organize a “Friends of Stephen Ambrose” Society, and many of his out-of-state contacts with ties to Montana were now being utilized by the Legacy Campaign. Mr. Olsen asked Ms. Groves for a projection of operating expenses for the balance of the fiscal year, and she estimated the figure at $270,000 through December. She said the letter of request being prepared for First Interstate Bank would request $300,000, which would provide a small cushion of funds. She expected to receive $180,000 of pledges in December.
Mr. Staves said he and Mr. Olsen represented the Commission on the Legacy Campaign’s Coordinating Committee, comprised of representatives of each of the Campaign’s partners. The Steering Committee is charged with raising the campaign funds. He said the Coordinating Committee met last week to review the Campaign’s budget and explained that most of the commitments were coming in as pledges, which was the reason the Campaign was short on cash, but basically, the Campaign was on track with the original plan. He said there was a way to fund the cash flow internally, and did not see the need for the Commission to fund the Campaign further. Mr. Olsen agreed with Mr. Staves and noted this was probably one of the toughest environments for fundraising in the last 10-15 years. Mr. Staves said the small contributions phase was a few months away, but would produce cash for the Campaign.
Ron Clark addressed the Commission regarding the confidential Campaign information distributed by Ms. Groves. He said this was a public board and Montana had state laws that govern freedom of information. He noted that Ms. Groves read off names from a list but refused to release the document, which he said was public information. He suggested this was a teasing process, and said the list possibly contained names that people in the audience could help contact. He questioned whether the list contained names that he provided in Glasgow, and said he would not continue to provide contacts if they were not followed up on. He said this was a public body and an open public meeting, but there seemed to be information that was not being shared with the public. Aron Strange said he would like to see a copy of the Commission’s budget. Mr. Lepley addressed the fundraising contacts list which was developed through months of work, and asked Mr. Clark how to prevent someone else from taking that list and contacting them for another campaign, resulting in a loss to the Legacy Campaign. He suggested that Mr. Clark contact Ms. Groves personally to inquire about follow-up to the contacts he had previously provided. Mr. Clark said he understood the process and the complications, but did not like what he saw as teasing the audience. Mr. Kipp offered his list to Mr. Clark, but said the crucial difference he saw was that he was serving on a Commission and Mr. Clark was not. He proposed respecting the strategy and planning that had taken place, and said if copies of the budget or the list were requested they would be provided. Mr. Staves addressed Mr. Clark and said that Ms. Groves was not an employee of the Commission but was employed by the Legacy Campaign under the Montana History Foundation, a private, non-profit corporation. He said the list contained 20 names, and the database held over 2,000 names, including the contacts Mr. Clark provided. Mr. Blackwood said there was a certain amount of behind-the-scenes work and strategies that were a part of the Campaign. He offered extra copies of the budget, and said it was not the Commission’s intention to withhold information. Craig Rockwell urged caution with regard to protecting the confidentiality of contacts, as many of the listed organizations did not accept unsolicited contact. He said if this organization released their contact information, it would ruin the Campaign’s ability to work with them in the future. Mr. Martin added that the members of the Commission served as volunteers, were all busy people investing a lot of time and effort, and were not conspiring to do anything except help everyone in the state of Montana. Ms. Hutchinson said it would be helpful for the audience to have copies of the documents, other than the donor list. Mr. Kipp asked if it was general practice for members of an audience at a public meeting to receive the entire packet of paper that was provided to a board or commission. Ms. Hutchinson said the Commission should assume that whatever was provided to them was also of interest to the audience. Mr. Kipp apologized and said the Commission had been remiss, and asked at what point information was considered strictly for the Commission. The audience response was that only personnel issues were confidential. Mr. Blackwood said it was the intent of the Commission to have a meeting, and invite audience participation once the Commission had concluded discussion on agenda topics. He asked staff to provide copies of meeting handouts to the audience. With regard to the budget, he said the distributed copies were subject to change, based on the Commissions actions later in the meeting.
D. License Plate Committee
Mr. Staves reported that a full year of reporting was now available on license plate sales, with 11,572 sold at $20 net per plate to the Commission, and 53 collector plates sold for $1,278. The Dept. of Justice reported January 2003 plate sales at 285, a drastic drop from January 2002 sales of 1,591. He said this drop resulted from the fact that plates expiring in January were not up for renewal until the end of February, and last January many people bought plates ahead of their scheduled expire date. He felt that renewals would come in very high and would probably reach the 11,000 to 12,000 total this year. Mr. Kipp noted the number of specialty plates now available, and Mr. Staves agreed, but said the simplicity of obtaining the L&C plate over the others would help maintain sales. He noted the pending legislation that would put a moratorium on specialty plates and raise the fee from $1200 to $4000, in addition to allowing for use of the Bicentennial plate on all vehicles except motorcycles and small trailers. Mr. Blackwood said the legislation was too little too late. Mr. Staves said he could provide a mailing list of RV owners that could be contacted regarding the purchase of the Bicentennial plate.
E. Education Committee
Tootie Rasmussen delivered the Education Committee report. She spoke first about the L&C Guide Training at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. Ms. Weber provided a handout dated Feb. 5, 2003, which was Sue Buchel’s report on past training sessions and the screening process to list guides on the Commission’s website. Ms. Weber said this year’s offering would be modified from past years, and said another call for guide applications would be issued shortly. She said funding would not be requested from the Commission this year. Ms. Weber said the Southern Illinois Tourism Association has requested a live feed from the Training Academy’s spring classes for 60 of their staff and volunteers to receive L&C training, evidence that Montana was well ahead of other states in the area of guide training.
Ms. Rasmussen touched on the video, “Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story,” noting it will be shown on Montana PBS this spring. Jeri Mae Rowley plans to reorder 1,000 copies of the video, as they have distributed all but 200 copies of the original order. Ms. Rowley reported yesterday that orders were coming in from the East Coast, following the airing of the video at Monticello. The video is used in conjunction with Superhost training in Montana communities. Ms. Rowley prompts frontliners to consider what part of the Lewis & Clark story is pertinent to their respective areas. In an effort to further educate frontliners on Lewis & Clark history in their areas, a supplemental information sheet on L&C sites by region is planned to accompany the video. Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Chapters in Montana will gather pertinent information from their areas, including Tribal information, and provide it to the Commission office for Ms. Rowley’s use in Superhost training. Ms. Rasmussen urged people to encourage Superhost training in their communities.
Ms. Rasmussen provided a brief update on the 21st Century Program, an after school program designed to provide a safe environment for children to increase their math, science and reading skills with a focus on Lewis & Clark. The program involved the Frazer and Glasgow Middle School this past year and will be expanded to the Glasgow Elementary School.
Ms. Rasmussen asked Ms. Weber to address the “Confluence of Cultures Symposium.” Ms. Weber distributed conference posters said the state Commission and University of Montana were co-sponsoring the May 28-30 symposium at the University of Montana, Missoula. Ms. Weber credited Mr. Kipp with the idea two years ago for the symposium, noting that planning had been on-going since that time. She reviewed the keynote speakers and said 40 presenters and performers had indicated an interest in participating in the symposium, designed to encourage new perspectives on Lewis and Clark. The $25 registration was designed to encourage family attendance, which included a traditional meal, and an additional fee would be charged to attend the banquet. Lodging in the dorms was also being offered by the University. Ms. Weber closed by saying the registration form was on the poster and also available on line at www.umt.edu/cultures. The Commission will meet in Missoula the day before the Symposium.
The Educator’s Resource Guide was addressed next. Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Project WET, announced yesterday during the Education Committee’s meeting that the guide was being updated, expanded and re-released by the end of March. The Guide is a review of books, videos, CD’s and other L&C materials available to educators for classroom use. Originally, 3,000 copies were printed and sufficient copies were sold at $10 each to fund the reprinting of the second edition. The Guide was distributed to schools and libraries and the entire second edition would soon be available free of charge on the web at www.lewis-clark.org. Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer also announced yesterday a new exhibit, “Native Waters: Sharing the Source,” a American Indian Water Resources Education Project dedicated to increasing the awareness and respect for water resources in the Missouri River Basin. The exhibit will travel first to Tribal Colleges and will then be offered to other venues.
Mr. Blackwood covered the St. Charles Re-Enactors Group Education Initiative, which was also discussed during yesterday’s Education Committee meeting. He said in addition to having the historical re-enactors traveling the Trail, the St. Charles Group planned to have computer uplinks from various sites along the Trail for broadcast into classrooms. He reported that the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event planners voiced concerns yesterday with the Education Initiative, as it might have implications on the Signature Event committee’s planning in the Great Falls/Fort Benton area. He explained that the St. Charles Group was portraying themselves as being officially sanctioned and endorsed by the National Council, which they are not. Also, he said there was concern with regard to how they were being invited or not being invited to participate with local re-enactor groups along the Trail. He reported that the request was made to the Education Committee that the Commission go on record saying the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event be the coordinating entity with regard to historical re-enactors and associated education initiatives. The Education Committee was coming to the Commission today asking for a vote to concur that the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event be the coordinating entity with regard to historical re-enactors and associated education initiatives. He called on Peggy Bourne, executive director for Explore! the Big Sky, to address the Commission. Ms. Bourne explained that they wanted to work with the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard and incorporate the St. Charles Group into the Signature Event, rather than have them compete with locally planned events. Mr. Staves urged caution in drafting this statement, as it would have ramifications for groups and events statewide. Mr. Blackwood said this was discussed extensively during yesterday’s RBC/Tribal Reps. meeting, and the issue that was brought to the Education Committee was specific to the Signature Event; therefore he did not anticipate the Commission addressing the issue beyond that scope. Mr. Staves recommended establishing a written, statewide policy that recognized a line of authority through the Regional Bicentennial Commissions. Mr. Rockwell suggested subordinating outside groups to the local planning committee for any events within Montana. Ms. Weber asked the Commission to recognize that the St. Charles Group was not endorsed by the National Council, that Montana had a L&C re-enactors group comprised of statewide members who could be requested to participate in any Montana event, and that the St. Charles Group could be requested to participate in the event the Montana re-enactors were unavailable. Ms. Bourne said taking no action would allow for the status quo; local planners would continue to plan events using those groups that best fit their needs. Mr. Olsen agreed, and asked why the Commission needed to take action, as he felt this interfered with free enterprise. Mr. Blackwood said the bottom line was that the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event committee was faced with the issue of working with local re-enactors, knowing that the St. Charles Group re-enactors planned to come through the same area. They wanted the ability to either include or exclude the St. Charles Group, and asked the Commission if it would be comfortable with recognizing the Explore! the Big Sky as the official planning group for the Signature Event. This action by the Commission would give the Signature Event Committee more comfort in being able to dictate the ground rules for participation. Mr. Martin raised the issue of potential confusion relating from having two re-enactors groups at the same site on the same anniversary date. Mr. Rockwell said that river event permits were the responsibility of the Coast Guard and could be enforced. The question was asked whether the St. Charles Group was aware of the potential conflicts and Ms. Weber responded they were aware. Mr. Kubick recommended notifying the St. Charles Group that they were required to contact local planning committees regarding area participation. Ms. Stone suggested researching Coast Guard permits and reporting on the topic at the next RBC/Tribal Reps meeting. Ms. Weber proposed the following language, “The Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission does not endorse specific re-enactment groups nor obligate Montana communities in regards to who conducts living history presentations and leaves the decision to the local planning committees who will be conducting living history re-enactments through the Bicentennial in their area.” Mr. Olsen adopted the language as a motion. Mr. Staves seconded. Chairman Lepley called for discussion. Hearing no further discussion, the motion carried.
The meeting recessed for lunch until 1:15 p.m.
B. Grants Committee
Ms. Cortright reported on the status of the 2001 Organization & Planning (O&P) Grants, noting final reports were due December 31, 2001. Eighteen grants were awarded for $43,000 and 17 final reports have been received; 1 remains outstanding and has been referred to legal counsel. Regarding 2002 O&P Grants, 19 grants were awarded totaling $38,000, and final reports were due December 21, 2002. She spoke briefly on the problem of delinquent reporting, noting that 1 report remained outstanding; and 2 were in-house with unresolved questions on reported expenditures. For 2000 Project Grants, Ms. Cortright said $200,078 was awarded to 17 grantees and 9 projects have requested extensions. She explained the extension procedure as follows: Once a project manager determines the need for an extension, a letter of request is submitted to the Commission stating the new completion date and amount of grant funds unexpended. An addendum to the original contract is then prepared and signed by all parties. She said most of the projects that requested extensions dealt with interpretive signs. Fifteen of the 17 projects were now completed with two extensions in place. In 2001, thirteen Project Grants totaling $155,000 were awarded; 7 have requested extensions. Three projects have completed final reports; 2 reports are delinquent and 1 is in-house with questions. In 2002, 13 Project Grants totaling $122,000 were awarded; 2 are completed and 6-months reports are all in at this time. Ms. Cortright explained that Amy Baird, grants administrator for the Commission, had been working with grant recipients in an effort to obtain reports on time and resolve questions. She said the Commission must comply with State Auditor requirements as this program involved state funds, and she asked people to make an effort to submit grant reports on time.
2003 Organization & Planning Grants
Ms. Cortright reported that the 2003 O&P grants were offered to the 14 Regional Bicentennial Commissions and 8 Montana Tribes with an application deadline of December 20, 2002. The Commission determined at their October 2002 meeting to allow up to $2,000 maximum per grant. A total of 19 applications were received requesting a total of $36,298.66. Because a number of applications had not come in by the first deadline, a second solicitation letter was issued with a mid-January due date. Three Tribes did not apply; the Crow, Salish and Cheyenne. Everyone else has submitted an application. Ms. Cortright explained that letters were sent to potential O&P grant recipients approving travel expenditures incurred between January 1 and this meeting. Mr. Staves made a motion to approve of the O&P Grants subject to final approval of the budget. Mr. Martin seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood noted that O&P grants were on a calendar year cycle. Project grants covered 18 months and the 2004 grant applications would be due in mid-December 2003 with February 2004 approval by the Commission.
2003 Project Grants
Mr. Blackwood provided an overview of the Grants Scoring Committee’s work, noting that each of the 52 applications were scored individually by the 7-member committee. Scores were then tallied for a grand total of points and ranked by total scores. The Grants Committee met, some members via conference call, to review the top grants and determine levels of funding for each. He explained that the Scoring Committee identified potential grantees up to a total of about $100,000. Each applicant was contacted regarding the Scoring Committee’s recommended level of funding for their project and to gain their agreement to move forward. Ms. Cortright read the Grant Committee’s proposed list of 13 project grant recipients for a total request of $97,130. Of that total, the Montana Department of Commerce had provided $50,000 and the Commission provided $47,130. Mr. Olsen made a motion to accept the Grant Scoring Committee’s proposal pending budget discussion. Mr. Martin seconded and the motion carried.
A. Budget Review – continued
Mr. Staves said he felt the Legacy Campaign could stand on its own from now on, and the Bicentennial License Plate sales would probably maintain a sufficient level, but he did not want to spend the dollars until they were in hand. He did not expect a large amount of funds from the Legacy Campaign this fiscal year, although some funds might come in for repayment of the loan, and he did not expect to see any disbursement of funds to the partners. He recommended that funds from the Legacy Campaign be directed to repayment of the BOI loan. Regarding the Grants Program, he recommended granting the $50,000 from Travel Montana, and the $38,298 for O&P Grants. He suggested delaying the final decision on Project Grants until the May Commission meeting. Mr. Olsen agreed with Mr. Staves, and said he was opposed to borrowing from BOI for the Legacy Campaign. Mr. Staves recommended retiring the existing BOI loan with 100% of the funds from the Legacy Campaign, and continuing with the regular amortization schedule for the balance until additional funds were received from the Campaign. This was the same as Mr. Blackwood’s Option 3 presented earlier. Mr. Olsen agreed. Ms. Stone asked if there were unspent 2002 O&P Grant funds that could be re-granted and Ms. Cortright replied that some funds were returned, but the Commission had been to gain additional spending authority, which resulted in the dollars going to the General Fund. Mr. Staves recommended issuing the smaller project grants first. Mr. Blackwood said the Committee’s past practice was that top scores equated to receipt of first funds. Mr. Olsen suggested several options; funding the larger projects first to serve the greatest number of visitors; waiting until May to determine how many grants are funded based on available revenues; or in 30-60 days schedule a conference call or e-mail vote to determine funding levels. Ms. Baumgart asked what source of funds would provide the $47,130, and Mr. Blackwood said the Commission has two sources of funds, Commerce and license plate sales. Receipt of plate revenues lagged about 30 days past the close of the month, which meant that February’s cash flow might have been slightly overstated. Mr. Staves said conceivably whatever projects were not funded from the first $50,000 might not get funded; however, he was comfortable with the budget, noting the plate sales were the unknown factor at this point. Ms. Stone made a motion to fund the top 5 grants for a total of $54,500, and approve the additional grant recommendations of the committee as funds allow, making the final determination at the May Commission meeting, if not made before by approval of the Executive Committee. Ms. Baumgart seconded. Mr. Olsen spoke in support of a simpler motion, which stated, “as funds allow,” with approval of the full Commission via e-mail from Mr. Blackwood. Ms. Stone amended her motion to fund the first 5 grants for a total of $54,500, approve the additional grant recommendations of the committee and fund them as income allows, and that we communicate with the additional grant applicants that the Commission would make a determination on or before the May Commission meeting. Ms. Baumgart seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Lepley called for a vote on Mr. Staves’ motion to approve the O&P Grants subject to final approval of the budget. Mr. Martin had previously seconded the motion. Mr. Kipp asked if the Salish were slated to receive O&P funds and Mr. Blackwood responded that they had not applied. Hearing no further discussion, the motion carried.
Mr. Staves made a motion to accept Strategy #3 for BOI loan repayment as outlined on Mr. Blackwood’s Board of Investment Report dated February 11, 2003, and rescind prior approval to borrow additional funds from BOI. Mr. Olsen seconded. Mr. Lepley called for discussion and Mr. Blackwood offered background information by saying the Commission in October 2002 gave him approval at his discretion to tap into the second BOI loan for $50,000, and draw an additional $25,000 with approval of the Executive Committee. Mr. Lepley called for the vote and the motion carried.
Mr. Lepley called for a motion to approve the Ambrose Memorial discussed earlier in the meeting. Mr. Staves made a motion to approve expenditure of $500 to partner with Idaho in placing a plaque honoring Stephen Ambrose at the Lolo Visitor Center. Mr. Martin seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Staves made a motion to approve the budget as amended. Ms. Stone seconded. Mr. Lepley called for discussion. Hearing no further discussion the motion carried.
Mr. Blackwood extended congratulations to the projects receiving grant funds. He recognized Scott Bell, with the Forest Service in Utah, noting that Mr. Bell had previously discussed with him the possibility of funds from the Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program for the Commission’s grants program. They could possibly grant money to our grants program, or review the list of projects that applied to the Commission to see if any projects fit their program. This topic was delayed until the May meeting.
F. Fundraising & Promotion Committee
c. Logo Use
Mr. Blackwood said one item remained to be discussed under “Fundraising and Promotion,” which was the proposed policy on use of the state Commission’s trademarked images. He referred to his February 7, 2003 memo that contained the following proposed policy: “The Commission’s two registered and trademarked images will be made available for use on a case by case basis for “non-profit” applications, but will not be made available for use by “for-profit” product manufacturers. Further, the Commission reserves the right to utilize their two registered and trademarked images for a full range of applications as it may deem appropriate.” Ms. Rasmussen moved to accept the policy as stated. Ms. Stone seconded. Mr. Lepley called for discussion and hearing none, the motion carried.
H. Legacy Committee
Mr. Lepley reported that the Legacy Committee, comprised of Hal Stearns, Arnie Olsen and Jack Lepley, met with Commission staff earlier this year to discuss various ideas for a Legacy project and subsequently proposed to the Commission that a large BAS relief depicting Lewis, Clark and Indians be commissioned. In the meantime, Senator Grimes was seeking a painting to grace the wall of Senate Chambers in Montana’s State Capitol. Mr. Lepley said Senator Grimes was receptive to the BAS-relief artwork proposal, and drafted SB-118, which passed through committee in January with unanimous approval and will go before the House next. Mr. Lepley said the proposal was to produce the large BAS-relief, and fund the artist’s fees and casting costs by the sale of limited edition smaller versions. He reported on his involvement with three successful projects of this type in Fort Benton. Mr. Lepley proposed the Commission discuss the artist selection process. Mr. Olsen said the bill was up tomorrow in House Administration and was expected to pass. He said the Society had been asked to take the lead as they have contracting authority and also have a process in place for artist selection. He agreed to assemble a list of prospective artists, seek proposals from them, and narrow the selection to three artists who would be asked to present their work to a selection committee. A committee of 6 past senators has been named to work with the Commission and the Capitol Complex Advisory Council, which Mr. Olsen chairs. He said this was an exciting project, and would provide for a permanent L&C Legacy, as well as a permanent addition to the State Capitol. Examples of BAS-relief art were displayed, as well as photos of the Senate Chambers where the artwork would be placed. The proposed approximate size of the bronze artwork was 6 feet high by 20 feet wide. Mr. Lepley estimated the casting costs at approximately $50,000. The Commission agreed to revisit the project at the May meeting.
VIII. Legislative Update & 2003 Session Discussion
Mr. Olsen reviewed the following list of legislation, in addition to Senate Bill 195. House Bill 465, sponsored by Rep. Paul Clark from Trout Creek, would put a moratorium on construction in state parks and fishing access sites, which if passed, would prohibit the construction of trails and access roads at Travelers’ Rest. House Bill 407, sponsored by Rep. Gail Gutsche of Missoula, would eliminate day use fees at state parks and fishing access sites, which could impact funds collected at Travelers’ Rest that would be reinvested in the site. Senate Bill 336, by Senator Dale Mahlum of Missoula, recommended a $4 registration fee on Montana vehicles to cover state park entrance fees for Montana residents. Vehicle owners could opt out of this fee, but it would leave in place the non-resident park entrance fees. Mr. Olsen said on the first day of the session agency budgets were rolled back to the 2000 base, which cost the Montana Historical Society $190,000. They had already experienced a cut of $570,000 with the Governor’s cuts, but were able to reinstate these funds during budget hearings. Mr. Olsen said of that amount, $285,000 annually was Lewis & Clark funds received during the previous Session.
Ms. Baumgart reported the roll back to 2000 levels did not affect Travel Montana, as they had statutory appropriations, but did affect other agency budgets and they are seeking to backfill their budgets through the accommodations tax. She said House Bill 492 would take 2.65% of accommodations tax to backfill the budget of the Montana Arts Council, and would impact Travel Montana’s budget annually by $350,000. If passed, the bill would affect Travel Montana’s grants program. This ultimately could affect funds from Travel Montana to Lewis & Clark projects; however not the $50,000 for the Commission’s 2003 grants program. Senate Bill 353, sponsored by Senator John Bohlinger, adds 5% to the accommodations tax with a car rental tax of 5%, which results in extra revenue. This extra revenue would be distributed to entities currently receiving accommodations tax revenues, and an additional $7 million per year would be dedicated to Dept. of Commerce for local infrastructure and promotional grants. She could not predict the success of the legislation, but said it resulted in increased funds to Fish, Wildlife and Parks and local communities. Mr. Olsen said 2 or 3 bills proposed raising the bed tax, and they have been corralled into the Taxation Committee with the intent of crafting one bill.
Cheryl Hutchinson, Reaching the Rockies Chapter, addressed the Commission seeking support for two pieces of legislation; LC-2080 requires that Tower Rock remain as state-owned property, and LC-2081 renaming Halfbreed Rapids on the Missouri Rivers as Pine Island Rapids, the name given the rapids by members of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. She agreed to keep Mr. Blackwood informed regarding hearings on these two bills, sponsored by Rep. Ripley. Mr. Blackwood said he had written a letter of support for retaining Tower Rock in state ownership in 2002, and offered to write letters of support for both of these bills. Mr. Staves made a motion support both bills. Ms. Stone seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Blackwood presented the Commission with 2003 Legislative Directories containing the Commission’s ‘3-people’ logo.
C. Conference Planning Committee
Ms. Stone reported on plans for the 4th Annual Fall Conference, scheduled for October 1-2, 2003, at the Yogo In in Lewistown. The Committee is working with Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance on a possible Indian encampment. Gail Brockbank with Premier Planning has been retained again as conference planner, and Ms. Stone asked people to forward ideas or suggestions to her or Mr. Blackwood. Walt Marten and Loren Flynn have volunteered to work with the Conference Planning Committee. The Commission meeting will take place on Oct. 1-2.
G. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee
Mr. Blackwood reported on the January 18, 2003 Monticello event, noting the April National Council Meeting in Great Falls would be a retrospect of the Monticello Signature Event. He referred to the photo album being circulated through the audience that contained photos from Monticello and the event at the State Capitol, and referenced the statewide and national press display organized by Ms. Baird. Ms. Cortright delivered a quick recap of the January 18 event at the Capitol, hosted by the Crimson Bluffs Chapter, Reaching the Rockies Chapter, Gates of the Mountains Chapter, the L&C Trail Bicentennial Commission of L&C County, the L&C Honor Guard and the state Commission. Approximately 1,000 people attended the morning program where Governor Martz, Senator Mahlum, Rep. Mood, Tony Incashola, Brig. Gen. Randy Mosley, and Bob Doerk as President Jefferson delivered remarks. Twenty vendor booths were set up by various L&C organizations from 9:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Ms. Stone said the Commission at its June 2002 meeting voted to plan an event commemorating Lewis & Clark entering Montana from the east. Discussions have taken place with people at Fort Union and Williston, North Dakota, and a planning committee has formed for the event, “Lewis and Clark at the Confluence: this long wished for spot,” April 29-30, and May 1, 2005. Members of the Northeast Plains RBC, the Lower Yellowstone RBC, the Williston Chamber and CVB, Missouri River Country, Amy Mossett, with the Three Affiliated Tribes, Mike Casler, Fort Union, Rachel Retterath, ND Tourism, R.J. Young with MTTA and Fort Peck Tribes, Betty Stone and Clint Blackwood are members of the planning committee. Two meetings have been held and the next meeting is scheduled for February 26 in Sidney. They have discussed ideas, including re-enactments, historical performances, and 2-day program at Fort Union on the Missouri River. Corps II should be in Williston at the same time as this event. Other ideas included a buffalo feed, powwow, and trading post. The NE Plains group applied to the NPS CCS program for a grant in the amount of $9,000 that would provide for planning dollars and the hiring of a part-time event planner. She said this event would provide a unique marketing opportunity as well as a cooperative effort between Montana and North Dakota. Mr. Rockwell asked about the status of paving Hwy. 327 to Bainville and Mr. Blackwood said it was on the paving schedule but would not coincide with the Bicentennial. Ms. Stone said it has been widened, straightened in some areas and has a good gravel surface.
A report on the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event was deferred to the May meeting. The new brochure focusing on Montana’s two signature events was distributed to the audience.
IX. Public Relations and Publicity
Mr. Blackwood spoke on plans to develop an in-state public relations effort comprised of radio, TV, and print. The 22-minute L&C video will air on Montana PBS this spring, and the 15-second announcement currently airing on PBS was played for the audience. Mr. Blackwood said up to 4 messages per year were allowed under the contract with PBS.
Electronic Press Kit
Ms. Baumgart introduced the new electronic press kit developed by Travel Montana was introduced by Ms. Baumgart. She provided handout copies, apologized for the shortage of copies, but offered to provide additional copies following the meeting. Ms. Baumgart said this idea surfaced about 10 months ago when Mr. Blackwood approached her office seeking a way to provide information to people seeking information for stories, publications, and specifically for travel writers. The “Lewis & Clark in Montana” electronic press kit was developed specifically for travel writers and is on the web at www.lewiswandclark.montanainfo.org. She said the site would be continually updated with current information and events. Travel Montana publishes a quarterly newsletter for about 1,000 travel writers and media people on a regular basis and this site was promoted in the January newsletter. Mr. Martin asked who was contacted to provide the Indian information. Ms. Baumgart said she did not know, but offered to have her staff contact Mr. Martin. Regarding corrections to the site, she welcomed email directly or to visitmt.com. Mr. Blackwood suggested a section on how people could access Indian information and thanked Ms. Baumgart and her staff for the development of this site.
Printed Interim Report
Ms. Cortright reported on the development of an interim report for the Legislature that highlighted the bicentennial projects and accomplishments of the Commission. Mr. Olsen suggested the preparation of this report at the October Commission meeting. The report will be full color, six pages in length, with photo images. The text has been drafted and the layout and design work was underway, and should be printed by early March. The report was prepared mainly for the Legislature and extra copies will be printed for other purposes. Mr. Blackwood added that additional copies could be printed if needed, and the report could be updated with current information for future reprints.
Mr. Blackwood reported that during the Fall Conference, Thurston Elfstrom, Travel Montana, gave a presentation on planned changes to their website to make it more user friendly. Planned changes would utilize the corridor concept and adapt it to a map of Montana with clickable links Lewis & Clark events, activities, and attractions specific to the corridor. This information is currently in Travel Montana’s database, and will be pulled up geographically and as actual packages are put together, they will be posted to this site. Mr. Blackwood said this topic was discussed last evening during the RBC/Tribal Reps meeting, noting that enhanced and increased information was needed for the site. Mr. Elfstrom promised that the site would be up and functional very soon.
VI. Lewis & Clark Trail Bicentennial Commission of Lewis & Clark County
Dick Alberts reported on activities of the Lewis & Clark Trail Bicentennial of Lewis and Clark County. He reported on the group’s structure that included the following subcommittees: publicity, outreach and education; fundraising; and legacy. He noted that this county as unique in that it was visited by both Lewis & Clark on the westbound trip, and Lewis visited the west and northwest portion of the county on the eastbound trip. Their RBC produced a brochure on the trail through L&C County and support ongoing educational activities. He spoke about plans for an event in 2005 to dovetail with the Explore! the Big Sky event for people traveling the trail through this area on to Three Forks. This would involve the Gates Chapter, Reaching the Rockies Chapter, the L&C County Commission, and possibly the Crimson Bluffs Chapter. He said their group needed to address events planning for 2006 to mark the return trip. In an effort to fundraise, the group commissioned Bob Morgan to paint a scene depicting an event that took place on Alice Creek; both the original and prints are for sale. Their group also does a lot of grant writing. Regarding legacy projects, Mr. Alberts reported on their partnership with the Upper Blackfoot Valley Historical Society in Lincoln to assist with building their Heritage Park and associated interpretive signage. They partnered with BLM on Devil’s Elbow campground where BLM will accomplish the bricks and mortar portion of a vista from which two of Lewis & Clark’s campsites are visible, and the local group will do the signage. The group’s main Legacy project comes from a partnership with the Great Northern Town Center owner’s association in Helena to produce an outdoor education walk on Bicentennial Plaza. Mr. Alberts distributed brochures on the project, an outdoor permanent educational and historical re-creation of the journey through Montana. Both the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers will be etched into the sidewalks of Bicentennial Plaza, and 21 sites, representing Montana L&C landmarks, will feature signs interpreting the importance of the site using illustrations and text from the journals. The group is fundraising and writing grants to help fund the project, and are in the running for Tax Increment Funds from the City of Helena. Mr. Alberts said the project might also incorporate a tribute to Stephen Ambrose, as he was a resident of Helena.
X. Old Business
A. Policy on Links to Non-Commercial Web Sites
This item was deferred to the May meeting, pending review of Travel Montana’s recently adopted policy.
B. Update on 2002 PLOG Study
Mr. Blackwood explained that an interest and awareness study was conducted in 2000; it was redone in the Fall of 2002 and the results were announced at a press conference at Monticello. He reviewed highlights of the study, noting that the markets most interested in the Bicentennial were history buffs, frequent travelers, and adventurers, ages 55-63, noting this information would be most useful for Travel Montana’s marketing efforts. Of key importance was that interest in and awareness of the Expedition had increased three-fold since 2000. Ms. Baumgart said Norma Nickerson, ITRR, was unavailable to present this report last week at the Tourism Advisory Committee, and did not know if this report would be presented at the Governor’s Conference. Mr. Blackwood offered to update people on-line when the information became available. He reviewed the list of ‘L&C activities by preference’ in descending order: visitor center/museum, attend an event, driving tour, shows and theatre, interpretation with activity, on-trail experiences, and group tour. He closed by stressing that early, well-planned events were key to generating repeat visitation. Mr. Rockwell said there was widespread confusion with regard to bicentennial dates and said he expected increased tourism this summer by people seeking bicentennial activities trail-wide. He cautioned that people on the west end of the trail would not be prepared for those early visitors and feared people would be disappointed and leave with the feeling that the commemoration was unsuccessful. He suggested providing the early visitor with a positive experience, information on future activities, and an invitation to return for later activities.
C. National Council Meeting, Great Falls, April 2003
Ms. Weber thanked the Commission and Travel Montana for their individual $5,000 contributions in support of the National Convention of the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, April 13-16 in Great Falls, hosted by the Upper Missouri River Bicentennial Commission. She is co-chairing with Peggy Bourne and said the Convention is being modeled after the Trail Heritage Foundation’s annual meeting, where the local people were in charge of planning. Ms. Bourne is handling logistics and Ms. Weber is handling program content of the sessions with the assistance of a committee of 20 people. Ms. Weber provided a handout on the program, “Retrospect of Success: Learning from Monticello and Friends,” and said it would be very helpful to any community planning events, regardless of the size or type of event. Conference activities begin on Sunday with seminars, a bus tour and Jeffersonian dinner and conclude on Wednesday. She asked Mr. Blackwood to participate in the welcoming on Sunday evening. Ms. Weber recapped the daily tracks that included: event planning and packaging, finance, tribal, marketing, hospitality and security, noting that the fourth segment each day would be a meeting. This schedule was planned to avoid overlap in meetings and allow for maximum attendance. Registration is available on the web, the registration packet will be mailed in the next 2-3 weeks, and vendor booths would be available. Mr. Blackwood offered to issue a list serve message and promote the Conference in the next issue of journal notes. Ms. Weber thanked everyone involved in planning the conference and presenting the sessions.
D. Stewardship Project Update
Mr. Blackwood said Jeff Dietz initiated discussion of stewardship examples at the October meeting. He suggested highlighting either completed or current stewardship projects as examples that might work for other groups or areas. Carol Bronson, executive director for the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation, offered to share information on projects and Mr. Blackwood distributed a handout that highlighted several of their stewardship projects. As a result of this inquiry, the Foundation plans to build an expanded bibliography of those types of projects. Also at the October meeting, Mr. Kipp offered to obtain and play a video for the Commission that highlighted how to involve students in filmmaking at a historic site. Time did not allow for viewing the 28-minute video, but he provided a card for those interested in obtaining a copy of the video and accompanying teacher’s guide and said it was distributed to all Montana schools.
XI. New Business
A. Future Meeting Dates & Locations
Mr. Lepley announced the next meeting for the afternoon of May 27 and the morning of May 28, in Missoula, scheduled just before the Confluence of Cultures Symposium. Mr. Blackwood said the Symposium planning committee requested involvement by state Commissioners and others interested in serving as moderators. He said more details would be provided in a listserv message. The Education Committee would not be meeting prior, and Mr. Blackwood said the RBC/Tribal Reps would be contacted via e-mail to determine if that group wanted to meet. The Fall Conference, October 1-3, is planned at the Yogo Inn in Lewistown. The location for the February 10, 2004, meeting was discussed and left open for the present time.
B. Nominating Committee for June Elections
Mr. Blackwood said Jack Lepley’s term as chair and Hal Stearns’ term as vice chair were up for election in June. Tootie Rasmussen and Arnie Olsen were again named to serve on the Nominating Committee.
XII. Public Input Time
Representative Dave Wanzenried, Missoula, addressed the Commission by saying he had been watching the deliberations of the Commission, and wanted to share concerns and words of encouragement. He said Montana was in a good location as the Tail crossed the state twice; however, he cautioned that Montana needed to be prepared to welcome the many tourists. He felt increased tourism would happen earlier than the Commission had planned for and was concerned about Montana’s readiness for the Signature Events. He said his concerns were shared by a number of legislators. In particular, he expressed concern that infrastructure in parts of Montana would not be able to handle the sheer numbers, volume and repetition of numbers, and said long-term planning was needed, not just for the next 2-3 years of the Bicentennial. He said it appeared to him from reading the Commission’s minutes that their role had changed from one of optimism at the outset regarding fundraising, to deference in leadership with the waning of dollars. He challenged the Commission to continue to be more than facilitators of the process, to actually lead. He said he met seven months ago with Mr. Blackwood and reviewed the Commission’s goals, and said if he was in their position, he would be concerned with regard to the fundraising efforts. He said his remarks were not intended to be an admonition, but rather an encouragement. He asked the Commission to take a step back and reassume aggressive leadership. He said a collaborative effort was needed between the Commission and the people on the front lines. He said Montana needed economic development, and Montana businesses needed to be an integral part of the Bicentennial. He noted people both in and outside of Montana had expressed a concern to him that not much was going on with regard to Bicentennial activities, and they were questioning when Montana would have something in place for them to participate in. He challenged the Commission to ask the question, “Will Montana be ready to provide a first-rate show for the traveling public that they deserve, so we can do honor and justice to the explorers who came 200 years ago?” He said the plans at the outset were very ambitious; it was apparent that funds have not been forthcoming, but the functions that needed to be performed would not go away simply because of the dearth of money coming into the state. He said we needed to roll up our sleeves and find a way to generate the dollars to ensure that the functions were performed. Mr. Wanzenried offered to answer questions and Mr. Martin told him he was correct, but he was “preaching to the choir,” and encouraged him as a legislator to speak on behalf of bills that would provide funding support for Bicentennial projects. Mr. Wanzenried said when he met with Mr. Blackwood he offered to help pull together groups of people to support legislation; however he did not know if there was pending legislation, and said no one had contacted him to solicit his help. He said he would be happy to provide assistance, and said if in the event the accommodations tax was increased the Commission should be at the table expressing a need for part of it. He said his point was that the Commission did not have a constituent group in the Legislature, but said a lot of people would help if asked, however it was almost too late at this point.
Sandra Cahill said she has served on the Regional Bicentennial Commission in Livingston since its inception, and one of the first infrastructure needs identified was public restrooms. She said they have exhausted their search for funding from the city, county, chamber of commerce, bed tax funds, grants, and nothing provides for this type of bricks and mortar project. She said Corps II would be coming to Livingston and there were no public restrooms to accommodate expected tourists. She said they were well aware of the need, but did not know where to go from there. Mr. Wanzenried encouraged contact with the Legislature, noting that funds were tight, but he asked to be challenged to provide assistance.
Ms. Stone said last June the Commission addressed whether or not to be proactive in introducing or encouraging legislation to fund the Bicentennial. She said they anticipated the same response that Mr. Wanzenried gave, which was that money was tight, and there would not be additional funds for the Bicentennial. She said the Commission’s proactive stance was to protect its current level of funding of bed tax from Travel Montana, license plate revenues, and the Legacy Campaign fundraising, and felt this would be sufficient to fund the Commission and the projects it supported. Mr. Wanzenried referenced First Interstate Bank’s support and said suggested finding others in the state willing to support the campaign and seek letters of support from members of the Legislature. If he were given the names of people who had been approached who had not yet made a contribution, he felt Legislators would want to be involved in the process. He said as public servants they had a responsibility to assist and see this process through to a successful conclusion.
Mr. Staves said Mr. Waznzeried’s comments were well taken, but with regard to the Legacy Campaign, he felt the right decision was made which was to properly organize before launching a public campaign. He reviewed the committee structure and formation of the Steering Committee, and other committees, and said Mr. Wanzenried would be contacted shortly. He said a database of three to four thousand names had been compiled and was at present being manipulated for appropriate levels of contact. He agreed the Commission could do more, but the decision was made that the Bicentennial would be grass-roots, with strong local community support, and the Commission was nurturing that level of support. He said he felt the Commission was much further along than Mr. Wanzenried was aware of. Mr. Wanzenried asked if the Commission was on schedule to accomplish the tasks they felt needed to be done, as they were relying on the Commission’s judgment. If not, he suggested seeking help and volunteered to provide assistance.
Mr. Kipp said he and Mr. Lepley had served even prior to the Commission’s inception, and said their perception of the need, as well as that of the local communities, had matured greatly with the momentum. He felt the Legacy Campaign was posed to be successful in its fundraising activities. More importantly, he said there had been a lack of communication from state leaders to the Commission directly, and expressed appreciation for Mr. Wanzenried’s attendance and comments. He said there had been a level of tentativeness on the part of the Commission to not jeopardize what they had, and without a clear message from the Legislature, they have lived with that reality. He felt Mr. Wanzenried’s message was invigorating, and his timing was very good. Mr. Kipp said he serves on the Steering Committee, and would take Mr. Wanzenried up on his offer to provide assistance with contacts. Mr. Wanzenried asked how many people knew who their legislator were and asked whether they had talked to their legislator about their position on the Commission and its current status. He said too many Legislators were not aware of Bicentennial planning and encouraged contact.
Mr. Blackwood said he planned to follow up with a call to Mr. Wanzenried regarding an interim report to the Legislature and asked if it made sense to schedule a briefing for the Legislature. Mr. Wanzenrid suggested waiting until after March 5 when legislator’s schedules would be more open, and recommended inviting smaller groups of Legislators to attend a couple of sessions. Mr. Staves asked if Legislators were receptive to a gathering similar to the Tourism luncheon held recently, and Mr. Wanzenried said it was hard to say. He said he would be more than happy to respond during session, but suggested it would be better to approach legislators after the session.
Ron Clark said he had personal experience with fundraising, and said Mr. Wanzenried had made an offer to sign some letters. He suggested contacting the Governor to request her assistance by taking Ms. Groves’ list and making calls and writing letters. He said any Governor has to power to help with fundraising efforts.
Craig Rockwell said Mr. Blackwood’s idea of a brochure highlighting the Commission’s accomplishments was a great idea, as Montana had much to be proud of, and would be useful when approaching corporations for support. He said the lesson from the Bicentennial was to learn who we are as people, where we came from, how we came together, and how we can forge a new relationship into the next century. He said Montana was in a leadership position. Mr. Rockwell said Mike Oliver had left his position as L&C liaison and was back with the Forest Service, noting he has assumed the entire 17-state territory that he and Mr. Oliver had previously shared. He asked to be kept informed of upcoming meetings. He also asked to be copied on appropriations requests to the Congressional Delegation, noting that the usual deadline for requests was February 14. He said the Corps II tent would be located on the Mall in Washington, D.C. for a month, beginning March 12, and Congress, the White House and Dept. of Interior have been invited. Mr. Rockwell said Tom Fulton was recently named as liaison in Washington, DC, and has worked on L&C through the Dept. of Interior for a number of years, is from Montana and worked previously for Senator Burns and Senator Craig. He also said Bob Reynolds has replaced Robbie Wilbur in the Dept. of Interior.
Mr. Maatta asked if the schedule for Corps II visits in Montana was available and Mr. Blackwood answered that a tentative schedule was prepared. Carol McBryant reviewed the applications with Mr. Blackwood last October, and the tentative schedule was announced at the Commission’s October meeting. By May 2003, the final decisions would be made regarding the sites Corps II would visit. He offered to share the list with Mr. Maatta. Ms. Weber announced that Carol McBryant planned to have a room at the National Conference in Great Falls in April, and would schedule appointments per state. Mr. Blackwood said it was his understanding that she planned to meet with COSA representatives, not host community representatives.
Sgt. Josh Clement addressed the Commission on behalf of the Adj. General and Col. Jackson regarding proposals for assistance from the Guard. Proposals were needed immediately for 2005 projects.
Mr. Lepley adjourned the meeting at 4:30 p.m.
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